Vapor Intrusion

News & Analysis as of

Updates on the Site Cleanup Program in Massachusetts: TCE, LNAPL and More

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) has been updating its policy and guidance to address improvements in scientific understanding as well as its experience in addressing site contaminants. As...more

Intruder Alert – EPA Issues Final Technical Guidance on Vapor Intrusion

This summer, EPA issued two, long-awaited final technical guides for assessing and mitigating the intrusion of hazardous vapors from subsurface contamination into overlying buildings. EPA’s issuance of these technical guides...more

Buyers Must Soon Comply With New Environmental Due Diligence Standard

Purchasers of commercial real estate must meet a new standard to qualify for liability protection under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and analogous state laws. Since...more

Six Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA's Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance

The cumulative impact of the EPA guidance is to require the generation of more data, which means more sampling and analysis, more frequent and stringent remediation, and potentially higher remediation costs. At long...more

Michigan Court Finds Expert Testimony Not Necessary to Show Link Between Chemical Exposure and Injury

Issuing an opinion that could lower the bar for proving toxic tort causation, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that direct expert testimony may not be necessary to prove causation in a toxic tort case and that a plaintiff...more

Foundation: July 2015 • Vol. II, Issue 2

Warranty/Guaranty Provisions in Construction Contracts - The most confusion I have seen in the discussion of construction topics concerns the concepts of “warranty” and “guaranty.” This article will address the...more

EPA Issues Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Vapor Intrusion (“VI”) is the migration of vapors from contamination in the ground into overlying buildings and structures. It’s no secret that regulatory agencies have increased their focus on VI over the last decade. ...more

EPA Issues Long-Delayed Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating Vapor Intrusion Risks at Contaminated Sites

On June 11, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency released long-delayed final guidance for evaluating and mitigating risks at sites where vapor intrusion is an actual or potential concern. The final guidance...more

Environmental Litigation, Compliance and Transactional Costs to Increase as a Result of EPA’s New Vapor Intrusion Guidance

Action Item: Vapor intrusion has been a primary concern of state and federal environmental agencies for the past decade, and, accordingly, remedial actions have included vapor migration and intrusion as an exposure pathway....more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, June 2015

EPA Denies Petition To Ban Triclosan: On May 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition submitted in January 2010 by Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides seeking to ban triclosan, an...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

(US) Revised Phase I Environmental Standards Will Impact Property Acquisitions this Fall

The All Appropriate Inquiries Rule (the “AAI Rule”), set forth at 40 CFR Part 312, serves as a benchmark protocol for inspecting a property’s environmental condition. If the benchmark is met, a prospective purchaser can be...more

Vapor Intrusion: New Rules by the EPA  [Video]

This video provides background on the EPA’s new rules on vapor intrusion, or the intrusion of chemicals into the air inside buildings. The issue applies to any building constructed on a site that was previously used for...more

MassDEP Releases Its Draft Vapor Intrusion Guidance

MassDEP has recently released for public comment draft Guidance on Vapor Intrusion. The proposed guidance would replace MassDEP’s December 2011 Interim Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance, which saw minor revisions in the spring...more

EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

On July 9, 2014, the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Division in Region 9 issued a memo to staff setting an “operational framework” to address “inhalation exposures [to trichloroethylene] in...more

New Standard for Environmental Assessments Gaining Traction

The American Society for Testing and Materials ("ASTM") standard for Environmental Assessments was revised in 2013 for the first time since 2005. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has now adopted the updated...more

Updated Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard Approved - Key to Sound Due Diligence

A new Phase I environmental site assessment standard has been approved for use in 2014, providing the most current set of environmental site assessment practices for real estate and many M & A transactions. The new Phase I...more

AAI Rules Amended Under CERCLA – Focus on Vapor and Records Review

Effective December 30, 2013, the EPA acted to amend the standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries (“AAI”) to embrace an update to ASTM International standards, and to expressly bring vapor issues to the...more

Vapor Intrusion Risk Insufficient to Trigger EIR for Urban Infill Project

In Parker Shattuck Neighbors, et al. v. Berkeley City Council, et. al. (First Appellate District, December 30, 2013) (“Shattuck Neighbors”), the court upheld the City of Berkeley’s approval of a mitigated negative declaration...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 Issues Rule Approving New ASTM E1527-13 Standard For All Appropriate Inquiries

On December 30, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rule approving the use of ASTM International’s revised “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site...more

Vapor Intrusion “Guidance” – What Now?

"The Fog comes in on little cat feet," according to Carl Sandburg, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tells us that vapors come in through cracks in basements, utility lines, and the like — considerably less poetic...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

Did EPA Overstep in Applying Soil Vapor Intrusion Guidance to Commercial Buildings?

In April 2013, U.S. EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response issued two guidance documents on soil vapor intrusion. One addresses general soil vapor intrusion issues, while the other is specific to petroleum vapor...more

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