Contaminated Properties

News & Analysis as of

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

Winn Everett's Environmental Virtues Are Yin to the Yang of Casino Profits

The site in Everett where Steve Winn wants to build a resort/destination casino at a cost of more than a billion dollars has got to be the most run-down, contaminated, crummy looking oceanfront properties in Greater Boston. ...more

Dust in the Wind

Delta Blue Blueberries filed suit in California against Wilbur-Ellis Company, Semi-Tropic Water Storage District, and Alpine Helicopter Service Inc. for negligence and trespass. (Case No. 39-2015-0032670-CU-NP-STK in the...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Insurer Waived One-Year Reporting Requirement in Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in Cox Operating, L.L.C. v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13318 (5th Cir. July 30, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, applying Texas law, had...more

Natural Contaminants Exceed Human-Made Contaminants in California’s Groundwater

Defendants in groundwater contamination cases in California have additional evidence to direct blame where it should be placed – on naturally occurring contaminants. An extensive study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Price-Anderson Act Does Not Preempt Nuisance Claims

This decision departs from all other federal circuits that have addressed the issue and, if adopted by other courts, represents a significant expansion of potential liability for operators in the nuclear energy industry....more

Seeing Green: New York’s Reformed Brownfields Cleanup Program Creates Opportunities for Redevelopment to Generate Refundable Tax...

Now is the time to begin brownfield redevelopment projects in the State of New York. Reauthorization of and reforms to New York’s Brownfields Cleanup Program, which provides tax credits to redevelop contaminated properties,...more

New York Court Enforces Voluntary Payment Provision

In its recent decision in SI Venture Holdings, LLC v. Catlin Specialty Insurance, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89925 (S.D.N.Y. July 10, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to...more

New Application Process Takes Effect for New York Brownfield Cleanup Program, Additional Regulations Pending

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has announced that as of July 1, 2015, the reformed New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) became effective. NYSDEC transitioned to a new...more

EPA Issues Long-Delayed Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating Vapor Intrusion Risks at Contaminated Sites

On June 11, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released long-delayed final guidance for evaluating and mitigating risks at sites where vapor intrusion is an actual or potential concern. The final guidance...more

South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42...more

CAFA Local Controversy Exception Established Through Sampling and Statistics

An Illinois federal district court recently credited sampling data as evidence sufficient to establish the citizenship of putative class members for purposes of invoking the local controversy exception to CAFA...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

Defendants Saved by Louisiana Subsequent Purchaser Rule

Another Louisiana court has ruled that the Subsequent Purchaser Rule applies to damages following a mineral lease. In Bundrick v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. it is the 3rd Circuit. The Rule: An owner of property...more

B.C. Court Awards Remediation Costs Before They Are Incurred

The recent decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) in Dolinsky v. Wingfield may allow those who have to clean up contamination on their lands to obtain those costs from the responsible parties before actually...more

PRPs May Want To Dig In With Divisibility Defense

In a victory for potentially responsible parties at multiparty contamination sites, a federal district court in U.S. v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held a PRP established that environmental harm at a...more

PRP in CERCLA Enforcement Action Saves Millions of Dollars with Successful Divisibility Defense

Action Item: On March 15, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in United States v. NCR Corp., No. 10-C-910 (E.D. Wis. May 15, 2015), held that a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at...more

Court at the Fox River Site Opens Door to Superfund Divisibility

On May 19, a district court ruled that a company had established divisibility for its liability at a major downstream segment of the Fox River mega-site in Wisconsin, capping its liability for that segment at 28%. This same...more

Is There Any End to Post-Closure Care Under RCRA?

Late last month EPA issued draft guidance on adjusting post-closure periods under RCRA. It’s not good news. ...more

Property Owners Denied Class Certification in Halliburton Contamination Suit

Earlier this month, a federal district court in Oklahoma denied class certification to a group of property owners living near a contaminated research facility owned by Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. in Duncan, Oklahoma,...more

Ninth Circuit Widens Judges’ Discretion to Allocate CERCLA Contribution Damages

Trial court may select the method of accounting for prior settlement in allocating response costs among liable parties, but claims to recover settlement payments are limited to costs consistent with the National Contingency...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The New York Legislature Ends The Guessing - Brownfield Tax Credits Extended And Modified

On April 1, 2015, the New York Legislature passed a budget bill for fiscal year 2015-2016, which included numerous amendments (the Amendments) to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), a state program designed to incentivize...more

Town Gets Schooled on Class Definition in PCB Contamination Case

The Town of Lexington, Massachusetts filed a putative class action in 2012 on behalf of itself and alleged similarly situated Massachusetts school districts that have one or more buildings with airborne...more

In Cross-Border Contamination Case, Court Holds That CERCLA Displaces Federal Common Law Public Nuisance Claim

In yet another recent case involving the intersection of CERCLA and state law, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington held that CERCLA legislatively displaced federal common law public...more

Expert Testimony May Be Required To Establish CERCLA Innocent Landowner Defense

On January 20, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in Coppola v. Smith, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5127, addressed the application of CERCLA’s innocent landowner defense against a somewhat...more

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