Contamination

News & Analysis as of

Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Review Three Oil and Gas Cases in 2016

On September 2, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to review three oil and gas cases involving issues pertinent to the industry and land and mineral owners. 1. BP America Production Company v. Red Deer Resources,...more

Georgia Appellate Court: No Continuous Trigger When Policy Responds To Occurrences, Not Property Damage, During The Period

A Georgia appellate court has ruled that there is no continuous trigger of coverage for an environmental claim when the subject policy responds to occurrences, not property damage, during the policy period. The insured sought...more

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Holds That Under Prompt Payment Act, Imposition of Penalty and Attorneys’ Fees Is Discretionary, Not...

Scott Enters., Inc. v. City of Allentown, 2016 Pa. LEXIS 1503 (Pa. July 19, 2016) - The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversed an order of the Commonwealth Court and held that the prompt payment provisions of the...more

Environmental and Energy and School Districts: Testing Water for Lead Contamination Now Mandatory for New York State Schools –...

On September 6, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (S.8158/A.10740) that now requires every school district and board of cooperative educational services (collectively referred to as "school districts" or...more

Resolving Complex Environmental Disputes

This article discusses early cooperation between parties and insurers in resolving complex environmental disputes. It summarizes strategies that recently succeeded in a six-way dispute over the costs of investigating and...more

Court Dismisses Public Nuisance Claims Against Monsanto for Manufacture of PCBs

Last week, a federal court dismissed claims brought by three California cities against Monsanto that were aimed at forcing Monsanto to pay for polychlorinated biphenyl (“PCB”) contamination in San Francisco Bay. The...more

Foreclosing Residential Lenders Ignore Environmental Issues at Their Own Risk

Several years ago, we assisted a lender who foreclosed on rural residential property and then discovered that vandals had removed metal pipes from the basement of the house. That was bad enough, but the removed piping had...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawmakers and Governor Brown claim major victory on climate change bills - Sacramento Bee - Aug 24 - California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a pair of bills to sustain the...more

Air Dud: Emitters of Hazardous Substances Not Liable Under CERCLA

In a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that facilities with air emissions that included hazardous substances could not be liable for remediating other properties contaminated by those hazardous...more

Unique Ruling Regarding Joint CERCLA Liability and Government Contracting Law and Practices

Lockheed Martin Corporation, one of the largest defense contractors in the United States, operated three California facilities that manufactured solid-propellant rockets for the United States Department of Defense pursuant to...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, August 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Releases TRI Preliminary Dataset For Calendar Year 2015: On July 20, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)...more

Toxic Tort & Product Liability Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 3, August 2016

California Appellate Court Upholds “Every Exposure” Theory - Deferring to the role of a jury in resolving questions of competing scientific theories, a California appeals court upheld a trial court’s ruling allowing...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

Cabot Oil & Gas Continues to Fight $4.24 Million Federal Court Jury Verdict on Landowners’ Nuisance and Negligence Claims

After a recent round of post-trial motion briefing in Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 3:09-cv-02284-MCC (M.D. Pa.), it appears one of the most heavily publicized landowner lawsuits against an exploration and...more

Clearing the CERCLA Air: Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Are Not Disposal

In a case of first impression, this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the owner of a Canadian smelter was not liable as a person who “arranged for disposal” of hazardous substances when it emitted those...more

New Ninth Circuit Decision Precluding CERCLA Liability for Airborne Emissions

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the long-running Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. litigation another important decision further defining the scope of liability under the federal Comprehensive...more

New York Extends Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Damages Caused by Contamination from Superfund Sites

On July 21, 2016, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law New York State Assembly Bill No. A09568, which amends the statute of limitations for filing actions to recover damages for personal injury caused by contamination...more

Indiana Court Concludes Broad Pollution Exclusion Is Ambiguous

In its recent decision in Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96361 (N.D. Ind. July 25, 2016), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana had...more

They Blew Us Off – Insights into the State of New Mexico’s Suits Against the EPA and the State of Colorado

While speaking at a recent conference on natural resource damages, the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, Ryan Flynn, outlined New Mexico’s grievances against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)...more

Emerging Contaminants: PFOA and PFOS

On May 16, 2016, EPA issued final drinking water health advisories for PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate ) which set the acceptable life-time level for these chemicals in drinking water at 70...more

China Releases Ambitious Plan to Address Soil Pollution

On 28 May, the State Council, China’s highest administrative body, released the Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution (currently available only in Chinese) to address one of the nation’s most difficult and...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

Murky Waters Following the Gold King Mine Spill

In the wake of actions taken on August 5, 2015 by contractors for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in the Gold King Mine Spill, western states that rely on water from the Animas River, the...more

New York Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Love Canal Claims

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Roy’s Plumbing, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75958 (W.D.N.Y. June 10, 2016), the United States District Court for the Western District of New York had occasion to consider...more

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