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Bank Not Liable For Auction Sale of Contaminated Property

By Lawrence Schnapf, Principal, Schnapf LLC In Lusk v First Century Bank, 2012 W. Va. LEXIS 241 (Sup. Ct. 4/27/12) , the plaintiff/petitioners purchased a commercial property at an auction foreclosure sale. The Notice of Trustee's Sale and Regency's advertising notice stated that the sale...

Jenner & Block: Corporate Purchaser Not Liable to the Government for CERCLA Liability; Former Operator Must Begin Cleanup

By Gabrielle Sigel, Partner, Jenner & Block In long-running litigation regarding one of the costliest Superfund cleanups in the country, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin reversed a decision it reached just 5 months earlier and found that Appleton Papers Inc. ("API"...

District Court Holds Vapor Intrusion Is Imminent and Substantial Endangerment

By Lawrence Schnapf, Principal, Schnapf LLC The recent decision in Sisters of Notre Dame De Namur v. Mrs. Owen J. Garnett-Murray , 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78747 (N.D. Cal. 6/6/12) , is the latest example of how vapor intrusion has become a game changer for toxic tort and RCRA litigation. Vapor intrusion...

Supreme Court’s Southern Union Decision Helps Level the Playing Field for Corporations Subject to Criminal Fines

By Bruce Pasfield and Elise Paeffgen, Attorneys, Alston & Bird LLP On June 21, 2012, the Supreme Court in Southern Union Co. v. U.S., 567 U.S. __ (2012) held that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial requires juries not judges to decide the facts warranting a fine exceeding a statutory maximum...

Jenner & Block: Environmental Contractor Unable to Ditch CERCLA Claims

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block On September 4, 2012, a federal judge in New Jersey denied Arcadis U.S. Inc.'s ("Arcadis") request for summary judgment in a CERCLA lawsuit relating to the disposal of contaminated concrete from a demolished Ford Motor Company assembly...

Jenner & Block: Section 113 or 107? Supreme Court Declines to Clarify CERCLA Cost Recovery Options

By Allison Torrence, Associate, Jenner & Block Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Atlantic Research Corp. in 2007, CERCLA PRPs and courts have been struggling with a crucial question: Whether parties subject to a consent decree may file claims for cost recovery under...

Babst Calland: Nexus Requirement Clarified Under New Jersey’s Spill Act

In a decision issued September 26, 2012, the New Jersey Supreme Court clarified the standard for demonstrating causation in a claim for damages under the Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act) . The Court held that a plaintiff claiming damages, costs or other similar relief under the Spill Act...

Jenner & Block: National Research Council Updates Contaminated Groundwater Sites Report

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block At least 126,000 sites across the U.S. have contaminated groundwater that requires remediation, and about 10 percent of these sites are considered "complex," meaning restoration is unlikely to be achieved in the next 50 to 100 years due...

Marten Law: In Second Obama Term, Expect Significant Changes to Energy and Environmental Law

By Marten Law PLLC Excerpt from the Commentary: This Emerging Issues Analysis from Marten Law provides an overview of the major changes to energy and environmental laws that the Obama Administration is expected to advance in the next four years. There is already a backlog of pending legislation...

Jenner & Block: U.S. EPA Issues Revised Guidance On The Use Of Institutional Controls At Contaminated Sites

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block U.S. EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response ("OSWER") recently issued revised guidance relating to the use of institutional controls at Superfunds sites and other contaminated properties. The first guidance document, titled...

Jenner & Block: New EPA Guidance On Institutional Controls

By E. Lynn Grayson , Partner, Jenner & Block EPA has released guidance on the use of institutional controls at CERCLA, RCRA and UST sites. The guidance titled Institutional Controls: A Guide to Planning, Implementing, Maintaining and Enforcing Institutional Controls at Contaminated Sites is...

Jenner & Block: Post-Sackett Challenge to U.S. EPA RCRA Order

By Steven M. Siros, Partner , Jenner & Block The first of perhaps many post-Sackett challenges to RCRA orders was filed in the Central District of California in December. On December 18, 2012, a chemical company (Soco West, Inc.) challenged U.S. EPA's issuance of a RCRA Section 7003 unilateral...

Jenner & Block: New MOU Between EPA And Kentucky

By E. Lynn Grayson , Partner, Jenner & Bloc EPA Region 4 and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (KYDEP) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support and strengthen efforts to achieve cleanups in Kentucky. The MOU is intended to help property...

Court Rules In 2013 That Mining Environmental Contamination Going Back To Late 1800’s Covered By Insurance Issued In 1950’s

by Seth Lamden , Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP The court in Doe Run Resources Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London , No. ED98086, 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 468 (April 16, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], held that excess liability insurers were...

Disposal Of Hazardous Waste Materials Resulting From Oil And Gas Well Drilling Operations Not A Pollution Event For Insurance Endorsement

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Colony Insurance Company v. Bear Products, Inc ., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43716 (E.D. Okl. Mar. 26, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States District Court for the...

The 2012 California Environmental Legislative Recap--The Calm Before the Storm

Get the latest expert analysis on California's enacted environmental legislation. The article describes recent California legislation addressing climate change, air quality, energy and fuels, water quality and supply, hazardous waste, land use, environmental quality (CEQA), solid waste and recycling...

Pepper Hamilton Client Alert: Fourth Circuit Brownfields Decision Stops Short of Worst-Case Outcome

By Jane C. Luxton and Todd C. Fracassi, Partners, Pepper Hamilton LLP In a closely watched Superfund case decided April 4, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals interpreted the scope of landowner liability protections Congress put in place in 2002 to "promote the cleanup and reuse of brownfields...

CEC Approves New Operational Plan For 2013-2014

Last week the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) agreed to a new Operational Plan for 2013-2014 that focuses on collaborative actions in three strategic areas to maximize the overall impact: greening transportation, tackling climate change while improving air quality, and addressing...

West Virginia Gets Serious About Liability Barriers To Brownfield Revitalization

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer West Virginia is getting serious about brownfield revitalization in a way no Canadian jurisdiction has done. In April, they adopted a West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation Act , to come into effect July 12, 2013. It will meaningfully address the key...

Jenner & Block: Seventh Circuit “Clarifies” Position On CERCLA 113 v. 107 Claims

On July 31, 2013, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an Amended Opinion in the case of Bernstein v. Bankert , Nos. 11-1501 and 11-1523. As discussed previously in this blog , the Seventh Circuit's original opinion addressed, among other things, the circumstances in which a plaintiff can...

EPA Issues Rule to Create e-Manifest System

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a final rule that will allow entities to complete manifest forms required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) through a computer-based e-Manifest system hosted by EPA. The rule will offer hazardous waste handlers...

Waste Board Amends VRP Regulations: What’s Changed?

BY: CHANNING J. MARTIN The Virginia Waste Management Board has amended the Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (“VRP”) regulations. The amended regulations – known as Amendment 2 – went into effect on January 29, 2014 [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers...

Court Rejects EPA’s Coal Ash Settlement Agreement

Sue And Settle: Court Rules Consent Decree Not Consistent with Public Interest - December 19, 2014 Deadline for Proposing Coal Ash Rules Should Not Be Subject to Delay by the Parties By Kathy Beckett and Kathy Milenkovski The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently...

Grocery Chain To Pay $3.3 Million For Illegal Disposal And Mismanagement Of Hazardous Waste

Albertsons, LLC (Albertsons) has been ordered to pay $3.3 million to settle a lawsuit charging illegal disposal, transportation, storage, and mismanagement of hazardous waste. Albertsons has 188 retail stores and two distribution centers currently operating in California. The settlement is the culmination...

Appellate Court Rejects Challenge To NPL Listing

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], rejected a challenge to U.S. EPA's decision to list a site on the National Priorities List ("NPL"), finding that although the petitioner had standing to challenge...