Saccharin is no longer a hazardous waste (really)

On December 17, 2010, EPA published a final rule to remove saccharin and its salts from the CERCLA list of hazardous substances and the RCRA list of hazardous wastes. EPA's listing of saccharin as a hazardous waste under RCRA was the sole basis for its listing as a hazardous substance under CERCLA;...

EPA proposes new hazardous waste recycling regulations to address environmental justice concerns

EPA is has released for public comment its draft expanded environmental justice analysis of the 2008 definition of solid waste. The draft evaluates the rule’s potential impact on low-income and minority communities. EPA is also requesting public comment on the environmental justice analysis as...

The manufacturer of PCE dry cleaning machine filtering system is not a CERCLA arranger

Since 1980, Team Enterprises, LLC leased space in a shopping center in Modesto, California, where it operated a dry cleaning store. From 1980 to 2004, Team used PCE in its dry cleaning equipment, and the machines generated wastewater containing PCE. Team used Puritan Rescue 800 filter-and-still combination...

RCRA imminent & hazardous endangerment notice must be specific, notes Second Circuit

A RCRA notice is mandatory, as noted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hallstrom v. Tillamook County , 493 U.S. 20, 26 (1989). The purpose of the notice is to a) inform public agencies of the alleged problem so that they can ascertain if they wish to take action, and b) provide the alleged violator with sufficient...

State Agency does not necessarily have exclusive expertise to address remediation such that CWA & RCRA citizen suit claims are to be dismissed, especially where there is a lack of ongoing formal state proceedings

NL Industries owned a site through 2005. It entered into an administrative consent order with the State of New Jersey which required it to clean-up part of a site and investigate other portions, including sediments in an adjacent river. The sediments showed elevated metals. NL concluded that the...

World Health Organization (WHO) Issues Life Stage Guidance for Risk Assessment

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block According to WHO, a significant challenge exists with monitoring and assessing individual and population level exposure and risk to environmental chemicals associated with how to consider age and life-stage related changes in behavior and physiology...

WHO Announces Second Meeting On Global Collaboration In Chemical Risk Assessment

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced its second meeting focused on strengthening global collaboration in chemical risk assessment to be held 29-30 March 2012 in Bonn, Germany. The first meeting was held in March 2010. The two day meeting...

Ongoing Cleanup Precludes Plaintiff From Establishing RCRA Imminent and Substantial Endangerment

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block A recent decision from the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected plaintiff's efforts to demonstrate RCRA imminent and substantial endangerment, notwithstanding the presence of benzene in indoor air in the basement of a facility. In Tilot Oil, LLC...

EPA Plans To Amend RCRA Hazardous Waste Generator Regulations

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block EPA recently announced plans to amend certain hazardous waste regulations under RCRA at 40 C.F.R. Parts 261-265 in its Action Initiation List. According to EPA, the focus will be to streamline these regulations with the overall objective to make targeted...

Ninth Circuit Holds that Dry Cleaning Equipment Manufacturers Must Engage in Active, Not Merely Passive, Activities to be Liable Under RCRA

In litigation involving soil and/or groundwater contamination from releases related to dry cleaning equipment and PCE, it has been common for injured property owners to sue the dry cleaning equipment manufacturers, among others. One of the primary legal tools used in such litigation is the citizen-suit...

Court Grants Summary Judgment in Maryland Square Vapor Intrusion Case

By Lawrence Schnapf, Principal, Schnapf LLC We have been periodically posting updates on the progress of the landmark Voggenthaler v Maryland Square, LLC vapor intrusion case from Las Vegas, Nevada. In the most recent ruling, the court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the Nevada Department...

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: 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...

EPA Excludes Carbon Dioxide Waste Streams from RCRA - A (Very Small) Step Forward for CCS

By J. Wylie Donald The Congress may be dysfunctional but the administrative agencies are still moving the ball. A case in point is last month's Christmas present from EPA to the carbon capture and storage community. On December 17 EPA issued its final rule , Hazardous Waste Management System...

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...

Telling Legitimate Recycling From Shams

My post on “recycling” batteries by turning them into roadbed aggregate, via mill slag, raised the question of what constitutes “legitimate” recycling. The US Environmental Protection Agency has been struggling with this issue for decades; claims to turn hazardous waste inexpensively...

Picture Perfect Result? EPA and Kodak Reach Agreement For Clean Up Of Contamination at Business Park and River

Kodak Also to Pay for Liability at Superfund Sites in New York and New Jersey The federal government has entered into settlement agreements with Eastman Kodak Company that resolve environmental claims and liabilities asserted by the United States against Kodak. After Kodak filed for Chapter 11...

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...

US EPA Issues First-Ever RCRA “Imminent and Substantial Endangerment” Order for Vapor Intrusion at Fort Gillem, Georgia

By: Alexander J. Bandza In what appears to be the first-ever RCRA § 7003, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], “imminent and substantial endangerment” order for vapor intrusion, US EPA Region 4 issued an order last month for the US Army to take expedited corrective...

EPA Issues Final Rulemaking for Coal Combustion Residuals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an advance notice of a final rulemaking that will regulate coal combustion residuals (CCR) as solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The rulemaking will apply to CCR generated by coal-fired power plants...

EPA Issues New Rules Governing Recycling That Will Impact Most Major Industries

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised its rules governing the recycling of spent materials, listed hazardous sludge and listed by-products associated with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) definition of solid waste (DSW). See 80 Fed. Reg. 1694-1814 (Jan. 13,...

New York Environmental Regulator Announces New Hazardous Waste Enforcement Initiative Against Supermarkets, Retail Pharmacies and Similar Establishments

In a move that will have a substantial impact on future obligations of supermarkets, drug stores and “big box” retailers in New York State, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that it would begin to require strict compliance with the hazardous waste...