News & Analysis as of

EPA Endorses Upgraded All Appropriate Inquiry Standard

Buyers of real estate and their lenders are familiar with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Originally developed in the 1980s in response to the CERCLA statute, the Phase I protocol has been refined over the years. ...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

The EPA Approves New Environmental Due Diligence Standard

On December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rulemaking recognizing the newly amended ASTM standard practice for Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments, E 1527-13 as...more

New Standard Will Help Clarify Environmental Conditions For Homebuilders

When you are buying raw land to build homes, you need to know what you are buying. A 100-acre tract of farmland may look pristine to the untrained eye, but an environmental professional may discover a leaking underground...more

AAI Rules Amended Under CERCLA – Focus on Vapor and Records Review

Effective December 30, 2013, the EPA acted to amend the standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries (“AAI”) to embrace an update to ASTM International standards, and to expressly bring vapor issues to the...more

Members Seek Update to Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act

On January 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2279, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act. The package, composed of three separate bills, seeks to modernize existing federal law and increase the role...more

The New ASTM Phase I Standard

On December 30, 2013, a new standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (“Phase I”), known as E1527-13 Phase 1 Standard for Environmental Site Assessments (“2013 ASTM Standard”) was adopted by the Environmental...more

The Emerging Non-Expansive View of CERCLA Liability: The Decline of Tanglewood East

The specter of environmental harm used to frighten courts and spawned a generation of decisions extending Superfund liability to virtually any party with a nexus to a site that was contaminated. One case that signaled just...more

US EPA Approves New Standard for Conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued its final rule amending the standards and practices for conducting environmental "all appropriate inquiries" to include a new standard recently made...more

U.S. EPA Approves ASTM E1527-13 for Application to the All Appropriate Inquiry Rule

Effective December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule (AAI Rule) to reference the recently published American Society for Testing and Materials...more

EPA Approves New Assessment Standards For CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense

On December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule relating to the bona fide prospective purchaser defense to CERCLA. EPA has authorized prospective purchasers of real estate to...more

Be Careful What You Look For: EPA Updates “All Appropriate Inquiries” Environmental Diligence Standard

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule, which sets out the standard for environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial property...more

Update: EPA’s Issues Final Rule on ASTM E1527-13 Standard for “All Appropriate Inquiries”

EPA reversal on continued acceptance of ASTM E1527-05 modifies rules for CERCLA defenses and redefines baseline for environmental diligence. On December 30, 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published...more

EPA Issues Final Rule Adopting New ASTM Phase I Standard

On December 30, 2013, EPA issued a final rule to amend its “All Appropriate Inquiries” Rule (AAI Rule) that sets forth the standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental...more

What Due Diligence is Due?

EPA answered the question in 2006 when it outlined All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) in response to CERCLA revisions that made new defenses available to some categories of landowners. In its AAI Rule, EPA accepted ASTM Standard...more

New ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments Includes Substantive Changes

On November 6, 2013, ASTM International (ASTM) published a new Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, known as ASTM E1527-13.1 The new ASTM standard includes a number of substantive revisions to the...more

Buyers Beware! New Environmental Due Diligence Standard Issued

The price of environmental due diligence for commercial real estate transactions just went up. On November 6, 2013, the ASTM International announced the issuance of E1527-13, which is the updated standard practice for Phase I...more

Digging in the Dirt? Allocating Environmental Liability in Real Estate Transactions

While adverse environmental conditions may be unavoidable, appropriate due diligence can help both real estate buyers and sellers avoid a liability mess. The conveyance of commercial or industrial real estate often...more

Second Circuit Clarifies “Removal” vs. “Remedial” Action Under CERCLA

In the CERCLA context, knowing whether a cleanup action is a “removal” or “remedial” action is crucial to the length of time allowed for the cleanup, the amount of money that may be spent on the cleanup, and the statute of...more

Third Circuit Expands CERCLA Contribution Rights and Narrows RCRA Injunctive Power

In Trinity Industries, Inc. v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, No. 12-2059, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion interpreting contribution rights under the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

Third Circuit Decision Allowing CERCLA Contribution Claim Based On Settlement Of State-Law Liability Sets Up Split With Second...

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided an important precedential decision last week expanding the right to seek contribution for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental...more

EPA Authorizes New Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and “All Appropriate Inquiries”

On August 15, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA") published an amendment to the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule that introduces a new industry standard for completing a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment...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

Insurance Recovery Law -- Apr 18, 2013

Ninth Circuit Narrows Insurers' Options in Pursuing Subrogation Claims Under CERCLA - Why it matters: The Ninth Circuit confirmed that Chubb could have maintained a subrogation action against potentially liable parties...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 20, 2012

In This Issue: Environmental and Policy Focus California oil land auction draws widespread criticism; New air pollution standards restrict soot particles; Air Resources Board approves carbon offset registries; EPA...more

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