News & Analysis as of

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

Regulation of Biogenic GHG Emissions, From Manure Management And Ethanol Sources, Cannot Be Delayed, Says D.C. Circuit

In 2007, the United States Supreme Court directed EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”) as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Since that time, EPA has published an Endangerment Finding and issued a series of...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 Gets the Vapors and Commercial Real Estate Feels the Chill

EPA is worried that you may be a canary. Your realtor may share the worry. It’s not that you recently sprouted feathers or a beak. But just as miners carried caged canaries to warn if air was unsafe, EPA is concerned that...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

CERCLA Cost Recovery or Contribution Claim: Another Judicial Misstep

The chaos unleashed by Aviall continues in a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit. In Bernstein v. Blankert, the Seventh Circuit revisited the issue whether a party having entered into an Administrative Order by Consent...more

Energy and Environmental Law Alert: Federal Court Rejects Attempt to Amend $700 Million Cleanup Remedy in Wisconsin

On November 21, 2012, a federal court in Wisconsin refused to allow a group of defendants to force the EPA to formally amend a cleanup remedy issued under the federal Superfund law to allow for a $269 million cost increase....more

EPA Issues Two New Superfund Guidance Documents: Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose

EPA recently released two guidance documents relevant to Superfund practitioners. One establishes revised procedures regarding how EPA will manage negotiations with PRPs. The second updates EPA's guidance on how it will...more

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