News & Analysis as of

Superfund Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

EPA’s Task Force Recommendations to Revamp and Expedite Superfund Cleanups and Process – A Welcome Change

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

While the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Superfund program under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act or “CERCLA” has often been dubbed the “Comprehensive Employment and Retirement Lawyers...more

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Three Issues of First Impression for Parties in CERCLA Contribution Actions

by Nossaman LLP on

In Asarco LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 14-35723 (9th Cir. Aug. 10, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a published opinion interpreting the statute of limitations for contribution...more

Can a RCRA Settlement Also Be Used as a Basis for a CERCLA Contribution Action?

On August 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided the case of ASARCO LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, which involves the ongoing liability to clean up the East Helena Superfund Site, located “in and...more

EPA Task Force Issues Recommendations to Reform Superfund Program

by Morgan Lewis on

The proposed reforms seek to accelerate cleanup and reuse of sites to reduce risks, reduce costs, and hasten redevelopment....more

CERCLA Task Force Issues Recommendations

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced a set of Task Force recommendations that are aimed at improving the Superfund program. The Agency’s adoption of these recommendations is another indication that demonstrable...more

Despite “As Is” Basis, Seller Allocated Liability Under Superfund for Failure to Address Contamination of Property

by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP on

A federal court recently found the City of Fairbanks, Alaska responsible for 55% of the remediation costs necessary to clean up property it used to own because it should have taken action to mitigate the harm or warn the...more

EPA Updates Due Diligence Standard under Superfund for Large Tracts of Land

by Arnall Golden Gregory LLP on

EPA published notice in the Federal Register on June 20, 2017, updating the “All Appropriate Inquiry Rule” for forestland and rural property. A purchaser or a tenant must demonstrate that it has performed All Appropriate...more

Environmental Notes - July 2017

by Williams Mullen on

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement (“Paris Agreement”). The Paris Agreement was signed by 195 countries in December of 2015. The goal of the...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

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

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

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

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

Environmental Notes - March 2016

by Williams Mullen on

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

Selling Property “As Is” Won’t Protect Seller From Superfund Liability

by Williams Mullen on

Everyone is familiar with the two little words - “as is” - that pop up in real estate contracts. The “as is” clause is a means of allocating risk between seller and buyer. Generally, a seller who sells property “as is” will...more

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