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General Business Toxic Torts Environmental

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.

Significant Changes to Massachusetts Site Remediation Regulations

by McCarter & English, LLP on

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made significant changes to the regulations governing the cleanup of contaminated sites in the Commonwealth (310 C.M.R. §§40.0000, et seq., known as the...more

Washington Court of Appeals Holds No Duty to Defend: An Invitation to Initiate Cleanup Is Not A Suit

by Cozen O'Connor on

On June 2, 2014, the Washington State Court of Appeals issued a published opinion regarding what constitutes a “suit” in the context of environmental liability claims under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). The court held...more

Washington Court Rules Insurer’s Duty to Defend Environmental Liability is Triggered by Agency’s Explicit or Implicit Threat of...

by Lane Powell PC on

A party faced with strict liability under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) for the costs of cleaning up environmental contamination often has insurance that might apply, but a lingering question has been at what...more

Chemical Purchasers May Be Operators and Liable for Releases That Occur During Shipment

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

Any company that purchases chemical products should be aware that it could potentially be liable for releases that occur during the shipment of the purchased products. In a recent New York District Count case, Kemira Water...more

Corporate Criminal Liability: Legal Causation and the Application of Absolute Vicarious Liability in the XTO Energy Prosecution

In this high-profile criminal prosecution of XTO Energy by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the scope of corporate criminal liability for the actions of third parties is likely to take center stage later this year...more

Brownfield land in the UK: directors’ and officers’ liability

by Reed Smith on

Introduction - In this first in a series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we look at the issue of directors’ and officers’ personal liability....more

Shutting Down a Capital City: How High Will Business Interruption Claims Go?

by Cozen O'Connor on

On Thursday, January 9, 2014, a major chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk Rivet cut off water to more than 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding nine counties. The chemical leak was from a facility owned by...more

Potential Recovery Opportunities Arising From Pollution Claims

by Cozen O'Connor on

Energy production in the United States is at an all-time high. In 2013, an average of 7.5 million barrels of oil were pumped every day, which bested the previous production record (2012) by one million barrels. Domestic oil...more

New ASTM Environmental Site Assessment Standard

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

Many are familiar with the “Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard” issued by ASTM, used for satisfying “All Appropriate Inquiry” for environmental contamination. Last week, ASTM issued a revised standard, Phase I...more

Digging in the Dirt? Allocating Environmental Liability in Real Estate Transactions

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

While adverse environmental conditions may be unavoidable, appropriate due diligence can help both real estate buyers and sellers avoid a liability mess. The conveyance of commercial or industrial real estate often...more

New Phase I ESA Standard To Be Issued In November

by Bilzin Sumberg on

New Standard Will Help Clarify Environmental and Historical Site Conditions For South Florida Developers - A new standard for performing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) is expected to be released in...more

Environmental Due Diligence Standards: Present and Future

by Snell & Wilmer on

The first half of 2013 has experienced greater economic activity than in recent years. The housing market appears to be recovering, albeit slowly. More lending and transactional activity is occurring at the commercial level....more

Clean Air Act Enforcement in the Pharmaceutical Industry - Major Pharmaceutical Company to Pay $2.2 Million to EPA to Resolve...

by King & Spalding on

On June 28, 2013, King Pharmaceuticals LLC (“King”) agreed to pay a $2.2 million fine and take measures to comply with the Clean Air Act (CAA) to resolve alleged failures to comply with major source requirements at its...more

Eligibility for Reimbursement from the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund Cannot Be Determined on a Per Tank Basis

On June 17, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Young’s Sales and Service v. Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board, reversed a decision of the Commonwealth Court and held that eligibility for indemnification for...more

Oregon Enacts Significant Amendment to Environmental Clean-Up Insurance Statute

by K&L Gates LLP on

On June 10, 2013, Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon signed into law a significant amendment to the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act, ORS 465.475 et seq. (the “OECAA Amendment”)....more

EPA’s New "Institutional Controls" Guidance May Raise Issues in Cleanups and Transactions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued two guidelines with far-reaching implications for real estate transactions involving contaminated sites, including sites owned by the Department of Defense. The...more

Do Liability Policies, Particularly Pollution Liability Insurance Policies, Exclude Coverage for All Injunctions? The Fifth...

The Fifth Circuit handed down an important decision last week, Louisiana Generating LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Company, clarifying the scope of coverage under a Premises Pollution Liability Insurance Policy. The...more

Defense Cost Analysis in Complex Environmental Fee Claims

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

Introduction - Many of our litigation management audits involve complex environmental cleanup cases. In these cases, it is important to first evaluate the underlying matter, including the fact patterns of the various...more

Superfund Liability for the Repair of a Useful Product

A few months ago, I blogged on the decision in Duke Energy Progress Inc. v. Alcan Aluminum Corporation where a court held that a company would not be held liable for selling used transformers to a recycling facility for...more

Ashley II Holdings Require Caution

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

On April 4, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a much anticipated decision in PCS Nitrogen, Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston LLC, No. 11-1662 (4th Cir. April 4, 2013) (Ashley II). ...more

Mistakes Have Consequences – British Petroleum’s Settlement

by Gray Reed & McGraw on

Three years ago, Tilting told tales of oil spill legal problems suffered by Forrest Gump, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Wok Ann chu-gumm Seafood Restaurants, Chef Red Fishy and Bishop Carp. Tilting predicted class action...more

Fourth Circuit Restricts “Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser” Defense

by K&L Gates LLP on

On April 4, 2013, the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling in PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston that, among other things, may limit the availability of the “bona fide prospective purchaser” (“BFPP”) defense that Congress...more

PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston: Required Reading for Superfund Lawyers

The Fourth Circuit handed down a primer on CERCLA liability last week in PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston. It should be required reading for Superfund lawyers. The facts in the case are worthy of a law school law...more

EPA Clarifies "Innocent Tenant" Liability Under CERCLA

Recent EPA guidance imposes new environmental due diligence and compliance requirements on prospective commercial and industrial tenants. The guidance purports to clarify an exemption from liability, but actually confirms...more

EPA Lifts Threat of CERCLA Liability for Some Tenants of Brownfields

by BakerHostetler on

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

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