Environmental Liability

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Affirms Liability for Selenium Discharges - Rejects Permit Shield Defense

By a published decision released on July 11, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court decision out of the Western District of Virginia finding that A & G Coal Corporation (“A & G”)...more

Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil

In 2006, Morristown Associates filed a suit against multiple heating companies and the previous owners of a dry cleaning business to seek payment for the costs they incurred redeveloping the property. They cited the source...more

CERCLA Contribution and Trust Funds: A Matter for State Law

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, does not require contribution from...more

North Carolina Legislators Look to Criminalize Disclosure of Fracking Fluids

As many states and the federal government look towards calling for greater disclosure and regulation of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, state senators in North Carolina appear to be pushing against the tide in...more

District Court Denies Motion to Enjoin Delta Water Transfers

Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California denied a motion brought by environmental groups to enjoin a water transfer project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Plaintiffs...more

Supreme Court’s CEQA Docket Expands With Grant of Review in Newhall Ranch Case

On July 9, 2014, the California Supreme Court granted the petition for review filed by Plaintiff/Respondent Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) in Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Department of Fish and Game...more

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Apportionment

The U.S. Court of Appeals used the recent case of PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston LLC to decide when it is appropriate to rule in favor of apportionment under CERCLA. In this case, 43 acres of land in...more

Supreme Court Rules CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statute of Repose

In CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, 13-339, 2014 WL 2560466 (U.S. June 9, 2014), the United States Supreme Court held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as Superfund)...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

One Step Closer… Fifth Circuit Affirms BP Loss on CWA Liability Regarding Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred over four years ago, accompanied by numerous stories trumpeting the fact that BP would likely pay as much as $25 billion to the United States in civil penalties...more

Supreme Court Ruling Resolves Conflict on State Statutes of Repose

US Supreme Court rules CERCLA Section 309 does not preempt state statutes of repose. Federal causes of action remain unaffected. Last week, in a 7-2 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger that...more

United States Supreme Court Holds that CERCLA Allows State Statutes of Repose to Limit Plaintiffs’ Injury Claims

This week, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling of interest to any Potentially Responsible Party regarding the effect of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on state...more

Kids Get Their Day in Court on Climate Change

On June 11, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that two teens are entitled to a judicial declaration of whether there exists a “public trust” obligation in state officials to “protect the State’s atmosphere as well as the...more

Statute of Repose: A New Weapon in Environmental Defense Counsel’s Arsenal

The June 9, 2014, Supreme Court ruling in CTS Corp v. Waldburger represents a victory for companies and landowners with legacy environmental liabilities in states with a statute of repose applicable to tort claims. Moreover,...more

Supreme Court Holds That CERCLA Preemption Is Inapplicable to Statutes of Repose

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), preempts statutes of limitations applicable to state-law tort actions for personal injury or property damage in certain...more

Supreme Court rules that statutes of repose may bar state tort claims under CERCLA

On June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, ruled that an individual state’s statute of repose is not preempted by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of...more

The “Discovery” Rule Is No Longer Supreme: The Supreme Court Holds That State Statutes of Repose Are Not Preempted by CERCLA

On June 9, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger et al. that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA, or the “Superfund” law), which preempts state statutes...more

New York High Court Finds that New York Insurance Law §3420(d)(2)’s Prompt Notice Requirement Does Not Extend to Claims Limited to...

In KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., et al., — N.Y.3d –, (N.Y. June 10, 2014), a case involving two environmental damage claims, the New York Court of Appeals reversed an appellate decision which...more

Supreme Court Sends Strong Signal that Lower Courts Should Stop Interpreting CERCLA “in a liberal manner” and Focus on the...

The Supreme Court’s decision in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, No. 13-339, 573 U.S. __ (June 9, 2014), sends a strong message to lower courts that the oft-repeated refrain that CERCLA is a “remedial statute” that must be...more

Statutes of Repose Unaffected by CERCLA Requirement that State Law Incorporate Discovery Rule in Statutes of Limitation

On June 9, in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, et al., No. 13-339, the U.S. Supreme Court held 7-2, that the Fourth Circuit erred in holding that CERCLA Section 9658 applied to the application of the North Carolina statute of repose,...more

Do Statutes of Repose Under CERCLA Really Require Supreme Court Review

Even Superfund lawyers are likely to find the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in CTS Corporation v. Waldburger to be of limited interest. Unable to reach an agreement about a federal “toxic tort” cause of action, Congress...more

Breaking News: SCOTUS Rules Today CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statutes of Repose

The United States Supreme Court today ruled that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"), enacted in 1980 to "promote the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites," does not...more

Supreme Court Decides CTS Corp. v. Waldburger

On June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, No. 13-339, holding that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) does not preempt state...more

Washington Court Rules Insurer’s Duty to Defend Environmental Liability is Triggered by Agency’s Explicit or Implicit Threat of...

A party faced with strict liability under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) for the costs of cleaning up environmental contamination often has insurance that might apply, but a lingering question has been at what...more

Preexisting Management Plan Not a “Mitigation Measure” for Purposes of CEQA Exemption

A preexisting management plan intended to minimize environmental effects of recurring facility operations and events is not a “proposed mitigation measure” for purposes of determining whether an event qualifies for a CEQA...more

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