News & Analysis as of

Contaminated Properties Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

Ohio Natural Resources Damages Claim Dismissed with Prejudice for Failure to Properly Serve Defendant

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

Demonstrating the importance of timely service of process in complex environmental cases, a federal court in Ohio dismissed CERCLA natural resource damages claims and related state statutory actions for the state’s failure to...more

Ninth Circuit Requires US to Pay Defense Contractor Cleanup Costs

by WilmerHale on

On October 4, the Ninth Circuit reversed the District Court for the Southern District of California's decision to allocate to a government contractor 100 percent of cleanup costs for hazardous contamination at a manufacturing...more

How Wrong Does a District Court Have to Be to Abuse Its Discretion?

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a District Court decision allocating 100% of CERCLA response costs at a San Diego Superfund site to TDY Holdings, which operated an aeronautical manufacturing plant from 1939 to...more

U.S. Reversed on 100% Allocation to Contractor

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court decision allocating 100% of CERCLA response to costs to a U.S. military contractor, where both the U.S. and the contractor were liable parties. TDY Holdings,...more

Protecting Purchasers in Commercial Property Transactions

by Snell & Wilmer on

Congratulations! Your company just bought a large commercial property to manufacture its widgets. Unfortunately, you just received a notice from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) that the previous owner...more

Ninth Circuit: defense contractors need not shoulder wartime cleanups alone

by DLA Piper on

A recent decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal rejected a lower court finding that the US government had no responsibility for cleaning up site contamination arising, in part, from work done to support the...more

CERCLA Trumps As-Is Sales

by Clark Hill PLC on

A federal court in Alaska assessed responsibility against the City of Fairbanks (City) for remediation costs found necessary to clean up property it previously owned. The court concluded that the City should have mitigated...more

CERCLA Task Force Issues Recommendations Aimed at Improving the Superfund Program

by Clark Hill PLC on

On August 2, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced recommendations aimed at accelerating action on Superfund mega-sites, specifically expediting cleanups and promoting redevelopment and community revitalization. The...more

United States Liable as an Owner Under CERCLA for Contamination on Navajo Reservation Land

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last week, a United States District Court in Arizona held that the United States was an “owner” of Navajo Reservation Trust Land for purposes of CERCLA liability. See El Paso Nat. Gas Co. v. United States, 2017 WL 3492993 (D....more

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

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

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

Tenth Circuit Finds CERCLA Contribution Claim Not Barred by Bankruptcy Approval of a Settlement Estimating Liability for the Site

Asarco LLC v. Noranda Mining, Inc., 844 F.3d 1201 (10th Cir. 2017). In a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) contribution action, the Tenth Circuit ruled that a mining company, whose...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

EPA Issues New Contaminated Sediments Guidance

by Williams Mullen on

Earlier this year, EPA released revised guidance for remediation of contaminated sediments at sites being addressed by EPA under CERCLA (the “New Sediment Guidance”). The guidance identifies six key clarifications to EPA...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 Guidance for Characterization and Remediation of Contaminated Sediment Sites Under CERCLA

by Beveridge & Diamond PC on

In a Directive sent to Regional Administrators on January 9, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Office of Land and Emergency Management has identified eleven recommendations intended to facilitate the...more

Potential Expansion of MTCA to More Owners/Operators of Contaminated Properties in Washington

by Perkins Coie on

The Washington State Court of Appeals recently held the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) liable as an operator or owner of a contaminated site under the Model Toxics Control Act, RCW 70.105D (MTCA), in Pope Resources, LP...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

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Issues Major Cercla Decision Finding That Arranger Liability Cannot Be Based On Contamination Deposited On A Site By The Wind - Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, No. 15-35228, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662 (9th...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

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