Environmental Protection Agency Superfund

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the United States federal government established in 1970 at the proposal of President Richard Nixon to combat environmental degradation and protect human... more +
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the United States federal government established in 1970 at the proposal of President Richard Nixon to combat environmental degradation and protect human health. As part of its mission, the EPA enforces regulations affecting a variety of environmental issues, including air and water quality, pesticide-use, fuel economy standards, and nuclear contamination.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Another Lead-Related Crisis: East Chicago, Indiana

Last week, we began following the news about East Chicago, Indiana, where dangerously high levels of lead and arsenic have been found in the soil of a public affordable housing community and nearby elementary school affecting...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

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

EPA Region III Assesses Largest Superfund Stipulated Penalty Ever

The Rodale Manufacturing facility in Emmaus, Pennsylvania was added to the National Priorities List in 1991 after more than 50 years of electrical component manufacturing. Operations at the facility included electroplating,...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

We Are Just Getting Started: EPA Issues Much Anticipated Cleanup Plan for the Lower 8.3 Miles of the Lower Passaic River

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently issued the Record of Decision (“ROD”) for the lower 8.3 miles of the Lower Passaic River, which sets forth EPA’s $1.38 billion remedy. Potentially Responsible...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Stop the Presses. Superfund is Stupid.

I know that pointing out CERCLA’s stupidity has something of a dog bites man quality, but sometimes Superfund’s stupidity bears repeating. Today’s exhibit? New York v. Next Millenium Realty, in which Judge Feuerstein held –...more

Proposed Rule Adding Vapor Intrusion Component to Hazard Ranking System Will Likely Appear in Federal Register This Month

A proposed rule that would add a vapor intrusion component to the Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”), the primary screening tool for the CERCLA National Priorities List (“NPL”), is scheduled for publication in the Federal...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

EPA Plans to Ease Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component to be Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced a proposed rule to add a subsurface intrusion (SsI) component to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System (HRS). Addition of a Subsurface Intrusion Component to...more

How Should You Respond to EPA Information Requests? Very Carefully.

You're looking through your mail one morning when you see it: a certified letter from EPA. The letter requests information about your company's operations over the last 20 years. It includes paragraph-after-paragraph of...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Gov. Brown declares state of emergency over natural gas leak - San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 6 - California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday over a...more

Determining An Intent To Dispose Under CERCLA Remains a Puzzlement

Determining when a person has “arranged” for the disposal of a hazardous substance has long been difficult. The Supreme Court brought some clarity to the issue in Burlington Northern, when it said that...more

JOIN THE CLUB: EPA Sizing Up Hackensack River for Superfund Listing

The Hackensack River may be joining the likes of the Passaic River, the Hudson River, Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Fox River, the Eighteen Mile Creek, and other waterways that have been placed on the Superfund National...more

Is Superfund a Machine for Manufacturing Tea Party Members?

A group of PRPs received an oversight cost bill pursuant to a CERCLA consent decree. (The following details are intentionally vague to protect both the innocent and the guilty.) The bill was for several hundred thousand...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked...more

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion. First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to...more

Superfund Divisibility Defense Gets New Life

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, is a federal law under which contaminated sites are identified and evaluated by the Environmental Protection...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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: California renewable energy zone plan gets revamp after criticism: Reuters - Mar 10: An ambitious plan to put California's renewable energy projects in areas where the environment will...more

Superfund Rant For a New Congress

So the new Congress will be controlled by the GOP. The House and Senate will consider various bills to reign in EPA authority. Here’s one relatively modest suggestion for congressional consideration: amend CERCLA to limit...more

EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

On July 9, 2014, the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Division in Region 9 issued a memo to staff setting an “operational framework” to address “inhalation exposures [to trichloroethylene] in...more

EPA Proposes Clarification on CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

Step by step, inch by inch. Slowly but diligently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been working to clarify what standards and practices may be used for conducting “all appropriate inquiries” (AAI) under the...more

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