Hazardous Substances

News & Analysis as of

DOT Issues Proposed Rule to Harmonize HMR with International Standards

On August 25, 2014, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a proposed rule seeking to harmonize the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) with...more

The Meth Business is Dangerous; (En)trust No One

For a landlord, it’s a bad day when your tenant gets busted for operating a meth lab, and the local authorities condemn your house because it’s contaminated with the byproducts of his business. It’s even worse when you learn...more

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (August 2014)

IARC Classifies Dichloromethane, Other Substances As Human Carcinogens: In June, an expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that dichloromethane, a chemical substance used to make...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

DOT Proposes Hazardous Materials “Reverse Logistics” Program

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on August 11, 2014, proposed a rule that would add a section to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) creating...more

FAA investigates Southwest Airlines after whistleblower comes forward

A former Southwest Airlines cargo manager was allegedly fired for blowing the whistle on the unsafe transportation of hazardous materials on Southwest Airlines' passenger planes. The whistleblower, Jeffrey Bondurant, also...more

Forest Service Agrees to Initiate Consultation regarding Fuels Reduction Project at Upper Echo Lake south of Lake Tahoe and Halt...

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California recently signed an order on a stipulation in Murphy v. United States Forest Service that bars the Forest Service from proceeding with implementation of...more

Rules for Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Ethanol Still a Work in Progress

In response to rail accidents over the past several years involving crude oil and ethanol, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has been working with industry stakeholders and the National Transportation Safety Board...more

DOT Proposes Increased Safety Measures for the Transportation of Crude Oil, Ethanol and Other Flammable Materials

In response to several recent high profile incidents involving crude by rail, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a comprehensive rulemaking proposal on July 23, 2014, related to...more

The EPA, H20, and Fracking: An EPA study of drinking water and hydraulic fracturing could have far-reaching implications for...

As many who work in the oil and gas industry are aware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing forward with a multiyear Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. On...more

Secretary Foxx and PHMSA Release Much-Anticipated Proposed Rule On Crude By Rail Tank Car Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recenlty released a much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to improve the safe...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Causation Standard in Multiple Source Toxic Tort Cases"

The Texas Supreme Court took what appears to be a middle ground in toxic tort cases involving exposure to the same substance from multiple sources. The Court rejected the “but for” standard advocated by the defendant, but...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

Lab Safety – Yet Another Harsh Reminder

Institutions make great efforts to ensure that their research labs are safe for students and staff, because it is the right thing to. Even then, accidents can happen that puts those working in these labs in harm’s way. A...more

Are Personal Injury Damages Avaiable in a Nuisance Case?

As promised, on May 22, today’s post is a study of the personal injury issues raised by the defendants in Parr v. Aruba. In this post we raise the question and discuss what the parties believe the answer should be....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

U.S. Court of Appeals Dismisses Almost All Claims of Ecuadorian Provinces and Individual Plaintiffs Against DynCorp

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently affirmed the dismissal of all but three claims brought by individual and government entity plaintiffs against defendant DynCorp based on claims of injury by an...more

EPA’s Enforcement Efforts Regarding FIFRA Supplemental Distribution and How to Avoid Noncompliance

Under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 3(e), a registrant may distribute or sell its registered product under another person's name and address instead of (or in addition to) its own without...more

Oil and Gas Companies Ask Colorado Supreme Court to Approve Trial Court Order Requiring Plaintiffs to Present Preliminary Evidence...

On June 18th, Antero Resources Corp., Antero Resources Piceance Corp, Calfrac Well Services Corp, and Frontier Drilling LLC filed their Opening Brief before the Colorado Supreme Court in a “toxic tort” case concerning...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Long-term money a big boost for California's high-speed rail - Contra Costa Times - Jun 17: Gov. Jerry Brown scored a win for California's $68 billion high-speed rail project by...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jun 2014 #2

Nevada Supreme Court Holds That Absolute Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Suit - Why it matters: In answering certified questions from the Ninth Circuit, Nevada joined...more

Significant Changes to Massachusetts Site Remediation Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made significant changes to the regulations governing the cleanup of contaminated sites in the Commonwealth (310 C.M.R. §§40.0000, et seq., known as the...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – ABC 123: DEP Says You’re A PRP – How to avoid becoming an environmental acronym casualty

In Maine, anyone who has owned or operated an uncontrolled hazardous substance site from the time a hazardous substance was first deposited up to the present is considered by the Maine DEP to be a potentially responsible...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

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