Environmental Liability Environmental Protection Agency

News & Analysis as of

Aikens on Leadership and Culture

Ed. Note-The VW scandal is clearly much broader than simply corporate lying about environmental compliance. It is about an entire corporate culture that engaged in, tolerated or consciously disregarded the illegal behavior....more

Texas Joins Majority of States Holding that EPA’s CERCLA Proceedings Constitute a 'Suit' under Standard-Form CGL Policies

In response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that proceedings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Comprehensive...more

Recent Developments Regarding Disposal of Pharmaceutical Products

Recent environmental developments may impact the health care industry and should continue to be monitored. Several environmental developments related to the discarding of pharmaceutical products (including veterinary...more

Dividing CERCLA Site Just Won't Cut It On Liability

In an order on March 3, U.S. District Judge William C. Griesbach, who is presiding over the long-running Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act litigation concerning the Lower Fox River and...more

Every Picture Tells a Story... Convincing Regulators and Courts of Your Client’s Position

When facing the potential of spending large sums of money on remediation, administrative enforcement, or litigation due to a chemical release to the environment, you must be able to take the collected information and data and...more

The EPA's Golden Rule: No Good Neighbor Goes Unpunished

Have you ever wondered what all those additional charges are on your electric bill? This month my bill lists a “Customer Charge,” a “2013 Fuel Adjustment” and a “State-Wide Low-Income Assistance Fee,” which add up to about...more

Retailers: It’s Time To Check How Your Stores Manage Their Waste

If you’re a retailer, it’s a good time to assess your system for tracking and managing hazardous waste. Think you don’t generate any? Think again. Those aerosol cans, product returns from customers, old pharmaceuticals and...more

Who Knew? Hazardous Waste Management by Retail Stores

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a “pre-publication” Notice of Data Availability for Hazardous Waste Management in the Retail Sector (the “Notice”), to be published in theFederal Register. The Notice...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

Protect Your Investment: EPA Changes Standard To Qualify For Liability Safe-Harbors

In December 30, 2013, the EPA approved the use of a new ASTM Phase I environmental site assessment standard, E1527-13 (“2013 Standard”), in order to satisfy the CERCLA “all appropriate inquires” rule and qualify for certain...more

Do I Have to Think About Environmental Compliance?

Electric utilities, pulp and paper mills, and manufacturers of all types are subject to a wide range of environmental requirements. Other businesses—like retail facilities, warehouses, and property management companies—are...more

EPA Adopts New Standard for Environmental Due Diligence

In a rule published on December 30, 2013, and effective immediately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a new standard (at 78 Fed. Reg. 79319) for conducting All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) at...more

DOGGR Delays Release of Draft Fracking Rules Pending Possible Instruction from Lawmakers

At a conference in Los Angeles at the end of July, the chair of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Felicia Marcus, noted that the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources...more

Environmental Due Diligence Standards: Present and Future

The first half of 2013 has experienced greater economic activity than in recent years. The housing market appears to be recovering, albeit slowly. More lending and transactional activity is occurring at the commercial level....more

Section 126 of the Clean Air Act and Cooperative Federalism: EPA May Cooperate with the Downwind State Rather than the Upwind...

On Friday, in GenOn REMA v. EPA, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, in response to a petition from a downwind state under § 126 of the Clean Air Act, EPA may issue a rule imposing emission limits on a source in the...more

I Believe in Environmental Regulation, But….

As readers of this blog know, I believe in governmental environmental regulation. We have a complicated world and it is not surprising that many activities, including those generating greenhouse gases, cause negative...more

EPA’s New "Institutional Controls" Guidance May Raise Issues in Cleanups and Transactions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued two guidelines with far-reaching implications for real estate transactions involving contaminated sites, including sites owned by the Department of Defense. The...more

Vapor Intrusion -- EPA Offers Guidance For Comment, But Now More Issues Than Ever

After being taken to task by states and its own Inspector General for lack of final guidance on Vapor Intrusion, EPA has just released draft guidance documents for hazardous substances and petroleum products for comment. The...more

Massachusetts Packaging Plant Pays Nearly $485K Penalty For Environmental Violations

A packaging company in Dudley, MA has agreed to pay $484,900 in penalties to settle EPA claims that the company violated numerous federal and state regulations. The violations occurred at the company’s liquid and aerosol...more

EPA Clarifies "Innocent Tenant" Liability Under CERCLA

Recent EPA guidance imposes new environmental due diligence and compliance requirements on prospective commercial and industrial tenants. The guidance purports to clarify an exemption from liability, but actually confirms...more

EPA Issues Revised Enforcement Guidance Regarding Tenant Liability Under CERCLA’s Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Provision

Late last year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued Revised Enforcement Guidance Regarding the Treatment of Tenants under the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and...more

EPA Lifts Threat of CERCLA Liability for Some Tenants of Brownfields

Tenants who lease currently or formerly contaminated property can now benefit from protections from cleanup liability that were once available only to purchasers of such property. EPA announced its new policy in a December...more

Brownfield Tenants Gain CERCLA Liability Protection

Good News: Brownfield Tenants Gain CERCLA Liability Protection - In December 2012, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidance Memo set out a new EPA enforcement policy. In sum, on a discretionary basis, the...more

EPA Guidance Further Clarifies The Protections Available To Tenants Under Superfund’s BFPP Defense

As part of an evolving effort to encourage the redevelopment of brownfield properties, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”) was amended in 2002 to provide...more

New EPA Guidance Gives Long-Term Tenants Direct Access to the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense and Greater Protection from...

Newly issued guidance by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) suggests that prudent long-term tenants of commercial and industrial properties should conduct environmental due diligence before entering into a...more

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