Superfund

News & Analysis as of

EPA Region III Assesses Largest Superfund Stipulated Penalty Ever

The Rodale Manufacturing facility in Emmaus, Pennsylvania was added to the National Priorities List in 1991 after more than 50 years of electrical component manufacturing. Operations at the facility included electroplating,...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Texas Court of Appeals Issues Important State Superfund Order

In a “case of first impression,” U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,texascapitol sitting in Austin, in TCEQ v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., issued an important decision interpreting the scope of the Texas Solid...more

We Are Just Getting Started: EPA Issues Much Anticipated Cleanup Plan for the Lower 8.3 Miles of the Lower Passaic River

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently issued the Record of Decision (“ROD”) for the lower 8.3 miles of the Lower Passaic River, which sets forth EPA’s $1.38 billion remedy. Potentially Responsible...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

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

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

EPA Seeks to Add Subsurface Intrusion to CERCLA Hazard Ranking System

The National Priorities List (“NPL”) is EPA’s list of the most contaminated sites in the country that warrant cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (“CERCLA” a/k/a...more

Stop the Presses. Superfund is Stupid.

I know that pointing out CERCLA’s stupidity has something of a dog bites man quality, but sometimes Superfund’s stupidity bears repeating. Today’s exhibit? New York v. Next Millenium Realty, in which Judge Feuerstein held –...more

Proposed Rule Adding Vapor Intrusion Component to Hazard Ranking System Will Likely Appear in Federal Register This Month

A proposed rule that would add a vapor intrusion component to the Hazard Ranking System (“HRS”), the primary screening tool for the CERCLA National Priorities List (“NPL”), is scheduled for publication in the Federal...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

EPA Plans to Ease Path to Superfund Listing: Vapor Intrusion Component to be Added to the Hazardous Ranking System

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced a proposed rule to add a subsurface intrusion (SsI) component to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System (HRS). Addition of a Subsurface Intrusion Component to...more

How Should You Respond to EPA Information Requests? Very Carefully.

You're looking through your mail one morning when you see it: a certified letter from EPA. The letter requests information about your company's operations over the last 20 years. It includes paragraph-after-paragraph of...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Gov. Brown declares state of emergency over natural gas leak - San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 6 - California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday over a...more

Can Air Emissions Result in CERCLA Liability?

Liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) results from “releases” of hazardous substances. The term “release” is usually used in the context of something spilled or...more

Determining An Intent To Dispose Under CERCLA Remains a Puzzlement

Determining when a person has “arranged” for the disposal of a hazardous substance has long been difficult. The Supreme Court brought some clarity to the issue in Burlington Northern, when it said that...more

JOIN THE CLUB: EPA Sizing Up Hackensack River for Superfund Listing

The Hackensack River may be joining the likes of the Passaic River, the Hudson River, Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Fox River, the Eighteen Mile Creek, and other waterways that have been placed on the Superfund National...more

While The Outcome In the Lower Fox River Case Continues to Change, The Legal Standard For Apportionment Is The Same

In 1832, Abraham Lincoln said that ” it is better to be only sometimes right, than at all times wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.” Judge Greisbach of Eastern...more

North Dakota Saltwater Disposal Enforcement Actions Highlight Key Legal and Social License Risks

Spills or improper disposal of oilfield produced water—which can be more than 10 times saltier than seawater and may also contain heavy metals and other chemicals—can turn even staunchly pro-oil and gas residents against...more

Is Superfund a Machine for Manufacturing Tea Party Members?

A group of PRPs received an oversight cost bill pursuant to a CERCLA consent decree. (The following details are intentionally vague to protect both the innocent and the guilty.) The bill was for several hundred thousand...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

CERCLA Statute of Limitations Applies To Contribution Claims By A Party to a Private Settlement

Sometimes cases seem to be deciding issues that are so obvious it’s hard to figure out why they get any serious attention from the courts. One such case is ASARCO, LLC v. Celanese Chemical Company recently decided by the...more

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion. First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to...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

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

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