News & Analysis as of

CERCLA Preempts Local Cleanup Bylaws; PRPs Everywhere Breath a Sigh of Relief

In an important decision yesterday, Judge Douglas Woodlock of the District of Massachusetts confirmed that CERCLA preempts local cleanup bylaws. The case involved one aspect of the cleanup of the W.R. Grace Superfund Site in...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

BRG Review: Winter 2014 - Volume 4, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Introduction - Market Share Liability from an Economics Perspective - The Safety of Chemical Products - Chemical Leaks and Spills - Excerpt from Introduction: An important...more

The New Environmental Due Diligence Standard Saga Continues

To supplement our prior blog posts with respect to this issue, on December 30, 2013, the USEPA published a final rule (“Final Rule”) adopting the ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, Phase I...more

The Emerging Non-Expansive View of CERCLA Liability: The Decline of Tanglewood East

The specter of environmental harm used to frighten courts and spawned a generation of decisions extending Superfund liability to virtually any party with a nexus to a site that was contaminated. One case that signaled just...more

Revised Phase I Environmental Assessment Standard Issued

On November 6, 2013, ASTM International issued its revised Phase I Environmental Assessment Standard, E1527-13, “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.” Perhaps...more

EPA Calls for New “Completion Strategies” at Contaminated Groundwater Sites

October 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its draft “Groundwater Remedy Completion Strategy – Moving Forward with Completion in Mind,” which would establish a recommended strategy for an adaptive...more

Be Careful What You Look For: EPA Updates “All Appropriate Inquiries” Environmental Diligence Standard

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) amended its “All Appropriate Inquiries” rule, which sets out the standard for environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial property...more

EPA Recognizes New Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in Real Estate Transactions

Effective December 30, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended its regulations for site assessments in real estate transactions to add a new standard, ASTM E1527-13, as satisfying the agency’s requirements...more

EPA Announces Approval of New Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, effective immediately, it was amending the rule impacting the type of due diligence necessary to avoid Superfund liability as a prospective...more

EPA Amends All Appropriate Inquiries Rule To Clarify Best Practices

The EPA has amended its "All Appropriate Inquiries" Rule (AAI Rule) to reference the recently published ASTM International E1527–13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment...more

Economically Depressed Contaminated Properties Are Prime Candidates for Significant Real Property Tax Relief

While New Jersey is known as the Garden State, it is also regrettably fertile ground for contaminated properties as a result of its long history of industrial development. With over 20,000 contaminated sites, New Jersey is...more

CERCLA’s Act of War Defense — Potential Collateral Damage

For the first time in CERCLA’s history, a court has concluded that a Superfund claim was barred by the ”act of war” defense. In that case, In Re September 11 Litigation, the judge ruled that a property owner a block from...more

EPA Lifts Threat of CERCLA Liability for Some Tenants of Brownfields

Tenants who lease currently or formerly contaminated property can now benefit from protections from cleanup liability that were once available only to purchasers of such property. EPA announced its new policy in a December...more

Recent Ruling Confirms That Cost of Compliance with a PRP Letter Is Insured Under CGL Policies

In a recent ruling of interest to any company named as a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at a Superfund site anywhere in the country, the Alabama Supreme Court has followed the majority of state courts and held that a...more

Should Tenants Worry About Environmental Liabilities For Their Leased Property?

By 2013, most property owners have heard of the advantages of performing environmental due diligence and conducting “All Appropriate Inquiry” by obtaining an Environmental Site Assessment before purchase. Doing so is key to...more

In Alabama, Cost of Complying with a PRP letter Now Insured Under CGL Policies

In a recent ruling of interest to any company named as a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at a Superfund site, the Alabama Supreme Court has held that a PRP letter constitutes a “suit” under a comprehensive general...more

EPA Guidance Further Clarifies The Protections Available To Tenants Under Superfund’s BFPP Defense

As part of an evolving effort to encourage the redevelopment of brownfield properties, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”) was amended in 2002 to provide...more

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