Contamination

News & Analysis as of

Hexavalent Chromium: Is the Maximum Contaminant Level a Done Deal?

The California Department of Public Health Submits Its Final Regulation Package on Hexavalent Chromium: Is the Maximum Contaminant Level a Done Deal?...more

A "Diesel Fuel" by Any Other Name – EPA Narrows Definition of "Diesel Fuel" in Revised Hydraulic Fracturing Guidance

On February 12, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued long-awaited final guidance on permitting the use of diesel fuels in hydraulic fracturing operations. This guidance is important because any...more

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Third Department Clarifies Scope of Recoverable Medical Monitoring Damages in Waterborne...

On the heels of the Court of Appeals’ landmark decision rejecting an independent cause of action for medical monitoring in Caronia v. Phillip Morris USA, on February 20, 2014, the Third Department decided Ivory v. IBM. Ivory...more

Draft Regulations Released for Deposits of Deleterious Substances under the Fisheries Act

One of the most significant provisions in the federal Fisheries Act is the prohibition in section 36(3) against releasing deleterious substances into waters frequented by fish. This prohibition has been interpreted broadly by...more

Time-Barred Claim . . . Or Is It? Supreme Court Agrees To Review Fourth Circuit State Statute of Repose Case

As reported on the Ogletree Deakins Environmental Law blog in July of 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or...more

What Defense Counsel Can Learn From The W.Va. Spill

For the companies and their lawyers, the headlines were awful and kept getting worse: 300,000 people suffering without drinking water; changes in corporate ownership just days before the chemical spill; and accusations that a...more

EPA Releases Revised Guidance on Use of Diesel Fuels in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

On February 11, 2014, the EPA released its long awaited revised permitting guidance for wells that use diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities. The guidance details the EPA’s view on how to implement provisions of...more

EPA's New Solvent Wiper Rule Wipes Out Maine's Policy

For many years, both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have wrestled with the practical question of how solvent-contaminated wipes should be...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Class Action Alleging Groundwater Contamination From Refinery Because Homeowners’ Claims Lack Commonality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed the certification of a class of property owners who alleged an Illinois refinery leaked potentially carcinogenic chemicals into their property and water...more

City Not Required to Analyze Impacts of Existing Soil Contamination

In Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. Berkeley City Council, the Court of Appeal determined that impacts from existing soil contamination on a project’s construction workers or future occupants was not an environmental impact under...more

Contaminated but Remediated Soil and Cortese Listing Does Not Compel Preparation of EIR

As 2013 came to a close, the California court of appeal in Parker Shattuck Neighbors v. Berkeley City Council (1st Dist., Div. 4, 12/30/13, A136873) ___Cal.App.1st___, 2013, upheld the City of Berkeley’s decision not to...more

West Virginia Chemical Spill Likely to Bring Oil and Chemical Inspections and Perhaps Regulatory Changes for Facilities with Large...

Last Thursday residents of Kanawha County reported a foul licorice odor in the air. State and local officials traced the smell to a leak from a 35,000-gallon above ground storage tank along the Elk River. The chemical had...more

CEQA-In-Reverse Case Opening Brief Filed In California Supreme Court

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) laid out its case that CEQA contains no general directive requiring analysis of the existing environment’s impacts on a future project in a 50-page opening brief filed in...more

Protecting Your Insurance Rights As A Result of the West Virginia Chemical Leak

Last Thursday’s chemical leak in Charleston, West Virginia, has cut off water to nearly 300,000 people. Businesses in the area have been forced to close, and must remain closed until the city can decontaminate the water...more

First District “Doubts” CEQA Operates In Reverse, Upholds Mitigated Negative Declaration For Urban Infill Project Despite Soil and...

In an opinion recently ordered published, the First District Court of Appeal extensively reviewed the relevant case law and expressed skepticism that CEQA would operate in reverse to require analysis of potential impacts on a...more

2013 Review Of 3rd-Party Pollution Exclusion Decisions

Decades after its inception, the liability insurance policy’s pollution exclusion remains a much-litigated area of insurance law. In the third-party liability context, the provision precludes coverage for injury or damage...more

New Insight Regarding the Timing for Establishing California's Final Maximum Contaminant Level for Hexavalent Chromium

On October 31, 2013, Judge Evelio Grillo of the Alameda County Superior Court held a hearing in the ongoing case of NRDC v. California Department of Public Health, Cal. Super. Ct. No. RG12643520 to take evidence regarding the...more

2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Raises Questions About Applicability To Differing Areas Of Personal Injury Law

Toward the end of 2012, the news was full of disturbing stories of patients in nearly every state who received steroid injections contaminated with fungus. Many of those patients died from fungal meningitis, while others may...more

The Answer, My Friend, Is Not Blowin’ In The Wind: Waste From CAFO Ventilation Fans Does Not Require an NPDES Permit

Earlier this year, in her aptly named post “What the Cluck?”, Patricia Finn Braddock, noted that a state court in North Carolina had held that wastes from poultry farms, blown by ventilators from confinement houses and then...more

ODNR Confirms Hydraulic Fracturing in Ohio Has Not Contaminated Groundwater; Plans to Propose Rules Authorizing Impoundments

A recent article published in the Akron Beacon Journal indicates that of the 183 water-well complaints received by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) between 2010 and mid-October 2013, “only six water supplies...more

When Does the Statute of Limitations Run on CERCLA Claims? No, Never? Well, Hardly Ever

In State of New York v. Next Millenium Realty, decided earlier this week, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the wisdom of Gilbert and Sullivan. It is very difficult to blow the statute of limitations in CERCLA...more

CERCLA Preempts State-Law Claims Arising Out Of Petroleum Contamination

In what appears to be a first, a federal district court has held that the “Petroleum Exclusion” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) preempts state-law contribution claims...more

REGULATORY: Environmental Regulatory: Mitigating the Prospect of Mercury in Hydrocarbons in Exploratory Drilling

Today's oil and gas exploration increasingly involves drilling deeper, increasing the likelihood of encountering elevated levels of naturally-occurring mercury in hydrocarbons found at these advanced depths. Hydrocarbons with...more

US EPA Approves, But Does Not Require, Use of the New ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

When a party buys or leases real estate, they may become liable for the cleanup of pre-existing environmental contamination, even if the new property owner/tenant did not release the contaminants. That liability exists under...more

Appellate Court Finds BAAQMD CEQA Significance Thresholds Did Not Violate CEQA

Greenhouse Gas and Toxic Air Contaminant CEQA Thresholds May Soon Be Reinstated - In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (filed August 13, 2013) (“CBIA”) , the First...more

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