News & Analysis as of

Superfund

Superfund Changes Afoot

Since taking over as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has made it clear that he intends to focus on—and overhaul—the Superfund program. Calling the program “at the center of the Agency’s core mission”, Pruitt has put in place...more

The Yanomami Model for Superfund

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

In a recent editorial, the Wall Street Journal celebrates the new priorities being set by Scott Pruitt’s EPA. Mr. Pruitt, in the Journal’s opinion, is properly elevating the “more immediate” problem of Superfund sites over...more

Cleaning Up the Cleanup Process? Administration’s Power Shift Increases Uncertainty to Superfund

In May, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took several steps that are likely to refocus the Agency’s attention from greenhouse gas emission reductions and other novel uses of existing environmental laws to more...more

A New Budget, a New EPA Administrator, and New Uncertainty for Superfund Cleanups

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

When Scott Pruitt took over the post as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he made it clear that one of his top priorities was to expedite cleanups at contaminated sites across the...more

Administrator Pruitt Seeks Superfund Overhaul

by K&L Gates LLP on

In a May 22 memo, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Administrator Scott Pruitt created a task force to look at ways of streamlining the Superfund program. The task force, to be led by senior advisor Albert Kelly,...more

Superfund Reform, Part 2: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Last week, I offered less than fulsome praise of EPA Administrator Pruitt’s announcement that he was taking control of remedial decision for big Superfund sites. Now, he’s followed up with a memorandum announcing...more

EPA Centralizes CERCLA Remedy Selection Authority

by WilmerHale on

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt last week issued a memorandum revising the existing delegations of authority related to implementation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

Scott Pruitt Just Solved All of the Problems with Superfund. Not.

Last week, EPA Administrator Pruitt issued a memorandum requiring that all Superfund remedies estimated to cost at least $50 million be approved by the Administrator. I’m not optimistic that this will cure, or even...more

Federal District Court Declines to Declare that CERCLA Bars Pending State Law Tort Action

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Highlighting the discretion a federal court may exercise to allow a state court to hear state tort claims, a federal district court in Montana dismissed a former smelter operator’s claim for injunctive relief against...more

How to Effectively Manage Vapor Intrusion Risks When Acquiring and Developing Property

With increasing concern and attention being raised by regulatory agencies and the public on protecting building occupants from exposure to vapor intrusion (VI)-related contaminants, parties acquiring and developing property...more

Trump's Skinny EPA Budget Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 “skinny” budget, if enacted, would severely impact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reducing its budget by nearly a third and cutting 20 percent of its staff. Indeed, the...more

Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint Calls For Significant Impacts to Environmental Programs

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Trump Administration unveiled significant rollbacks in funding for federal agencies when it released its Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again on March 16, 2017. The President's proposed budget priorities would...more

EPA Issues Financial Responsibility Requirements for the Hardrock Mining Industry and Announces Intent to Regulate Other...

by King & Spalding on

On December 1, 2016, EPA signed a proposed rule setting forth financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and...more

Environmental Notes - December 2016

by Williams Mullen on

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) has clarified its approach to issuing “no further action” letters (“NFAs”) for sites with both petroleum and non-petroleum contamination. This clarified approach will...more

Common Stock Used to Reimburse EPA for CERCLA Response Costs

by Williams Mullen on

A recent CERCLA settlement provides an unusual method for reimbursing response costs incurred by EPA at a Superfund site. Under a proposed Consent Decree concerning the Yavapai Penta Superfund Site in Prescott, Arizona,...more

EPA Adds Vapor Intrusion to Hazard Ranking. Can You Say “Deck Chairs on the Titanic?”

EPA has finally issued a final rule including vapor intrusion in the Hazard Ranking System. The good news is that this is appropriate, because VI is one of the few real hazards regulated by the Superfund program. The bad...more

Vapor Intrusion: EPA is Sharpening Its Focus

by PretiFlaherty on

On December 8, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the ranking system designed to assess potential Superfund sites will now include evaluation criteria related to contamination threats posed by...more

GAO Audits EPA’s Management of Superfund Sites

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

In May 2015, U.S. Senators Rounds and Inhofe of the Committee on Environment and Public Works submitted a request to U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) to “review EPA’s efforts to clean up sites with contaminated...more

EPA Eases Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: With the EPA adding the consideration of vapor intrusion in its Superfund site investigations, hundreds of sites that previously would not rank high enough to qualify for listing on the National Priorities...more

EPA Proposes Financial Responsibility Requirements for Hardrock Mining Industry - The Proposed Rule Could Set a Precedent for...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy on Dec. 1, 2016, signed a pre-publication version of a proposed rule that seeks to establish financial responsibility requirements for approximately 221...more

Due Process Required for Environmental Remedy Selection: Appellate Division Rules NYSDEC Must Afford Responsible Parties an...

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

Hodgson Russ LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP successfully challenged the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) ability to implement a remedy without first providing a party an opportunity for a...more

GAO Sustains Bid Protest Where, Among Other Things, the Agency Improperly Considered Cost Risk under Its Technical Evaluation

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a bid protest involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) evaluation of proposals for remedial action and surface support assistance at the Gilt Edge Mine...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

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

Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: New Hoosick Falls Law: Was it Necessary? (8/16)

On Thursday, July 21, 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation modifying the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from exposure to hazardous substances.1 Commonly known as the...more

Industry Dodges A Superfund Liability Expanding Bullet

by Clark Hill PLC on

The warm summer breeze you felt on July 27th may have been caused by the collective sigh of relief from the nation’s manufacturers and mining companies over the Ninth Circuit’s holding that Teck Cominco (a mining company)...more

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