RCRA

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

EPA Lays Out Its Vision for the Future of the RCRA Regulatory Program

Enacted in the bicentennial year of 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is approaching its 40th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, and to lay a path forward for the future of the RCRA program, EPA...more

EPA Issues Final Rule Revising RCRA Standards for Cathode Ray Tubes Exported for Reclamation

On June 26, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) strengthening the standards for cathode ray tubes (CRTs) exported for reclamation....more

Recent Projects Indicate Oppertunities for Redevelopment of Brownfields

Our firm has recently represented clients in two projects associated with brownfields that may signal an increased willingness on the part of regulatory authorities to facilitate redevelopment of contaminated properties. ...more

D.C. Judge Approves Consent Decree Requiring Publication Of USEPA Rule

On May 2, 2014 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia approved a consent decree in Appalachian Voices et. al. v McCarthy, 12 cv-00254 (RBW), setting December 19, 2014 as the date by which the United...more

Offers of Judgment – Can They Shift Fees?

A recent Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) lawsuit may offer some additional guidance on when offers of judgment may cut off a party’s right to recover attorneys’ fees and costs under environmental laws....more

RCRA Developments - What’s Hot, What’s Simmering?

EPA’s efforts to regulate certain types of wastes as hazardous wastes -- some decades in the making -- are starting to see the light of day. Ranging from “very hot” to “simmering,” a number of EPA’s rules under the Resource...more

The Academic Laboratory Exception

Part One: Determining Eligibility - The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, usually referred to as “RCRA”, governs the storage and disposal of hazardous waste, including hazardous medical waste. In addition...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

Coal Ash Update

We have periodically updated the status of EPA’s long-running effort to decide whether and how to regulate coal ash generated primarily from electric power generation. Recent events have put EPA on a course to make a final...more

Court Holds Reused Water and Condensate Are Not RCRA Solid or Hazardous Waste

U.S. district court rules that coke oven gas condensate is not subject to federal waste rules when reintroduced into the coke-making process....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 Conditionally Excludes CO2 Geologic Sequestration from RCRA Regulation

On December 19, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule revising the definition of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), to conditionally exclude carbon dioxide...more

EPA Excludes Carbon Dioxide Waste Streams From RCRA - A (Very Small) Step Forward For CCS

The Congress may be dysfunctional but the administrative agencies are still moving the ball. A case in point is last week’s Christmas present from EPA to the carbon capture and storage community. ...more

CERCLA, RCRA, and Vapor Intrusion: Does What Happens in Vegas Really Stay in Vegas?

In Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC, 724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013), the defendants argued that contamination that happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas, and therefore the Commerce Clause barred the application of CERCLA. The...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

The Offer of Judgment: A Strategy to Oppose Claims for Attorneys’ Fees in Environmental Fee-Shifting Cases

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an offer of judgment in response to a claim for attorneys’ fees in a citizen suit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is valid. Interfaith Community...more

Which Is Worse? EPA Oversight or Citizen Oversight?

Everyone who represents PRPs in Superfund settlements has his or her own horror stories regarding the scope of EPA’s oversight cost claims. We all know that oversight costs can end up as an appreciable percentage of total...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’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

Missouri To Pilot Reforms To Corrective Action Clean-Up Program

Businesses involved in clean-up of environmentally contaminated sites often face a time-consuming and expensive process. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency will pilot reforms...more

EPA Issues Long-Awaited Vapor Intrusion Guidance for Public Comment

More than ten years after issuing draft guidance regarding the increasingly significant subject of vapor intrusion (VI), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just released for public comment drafts of two...more

Utility Pole Not A Point Source Under The Clean Water Act

Last week the Ninth Circuit held that utility poles are not “point sources” of stormwater discharge nor “associated with industrial activity,” and therefore do not require an NPDES permit to comply with the Clean Water Act....more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Storm Water Runoff From Utility Poles Is Not A “Point Source” Discharge Under The Clean Water Act Or A...

An environmental group argued that rain water washing over utility poles and carrying wood preservatives used to treat the poles into Bay Area waterways violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Resource Conservation and...more

It Is Easy to Lose the Privilege Protecting Audit Documents

In a recent case, documents related to an audit which was described in internal correspondence as being done to assess general compliance were not privileged in later civil litigation since the Court found: (1) the audit was...more

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