Exclusive Analysis of Oil Spills from Matthew Bender - The Oil Pollution Act of 1990

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), passed by Congress and signed by the President on August 18, 1990, largely in reaction to the Exxon Valdez catastrophe, has literally revolutionized the area of oil pollution liability. The statute amends many of the laws described above. Most significantly, it expressly...

Fighting the Last War: The Relevance (and Irrelevance) of the Exxon Valdez Spill to the Deepwater Horizon Spill

By Brad Marten A number of us in the Pacific Northwest can remember the phone ca ll that came in the spring of 1989 telling us to come to Alaska. There had been an oil spill, the caller said, and we had better get up there right away. We packed up and left, sometimes with just a couple of sets of...

EPA Responds to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Since the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010, EPA has mobilized resources to support the U.S. Coast Guard and protect public health and the environment. Our Emergency Operations Center at headquarters has been activated, trained EPA responders are working on the scene, and special mobile...

EPA Spanish Web Site to inform Spanish-speaking public about health, environmental impacts of Oil Spill

WASHINGTON – As part of the ongoing federal response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, EPA has launched a Spanish language Web site to inform the Spanish-speaking public about the spill’s impact on the environment and the health of nearby residents. The Web site – http://www...

Plastic garbage zones are not just in the Pacific

The plastic garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean has received substantial media attention. However, recent studies have shown that there are a number of such garbage patches, and that unfortunately they are larger than originally believed. The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to be...

Bryant Gardner Examines Legislative Developments as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

“The tragic loss of the DEEPWATER HORIZON on April 20, 2010 and still mounting environmental damages from the leaking "Macondo" well at Mississippi Canyon Block 252 have produced a robust, if not always like-minded reaction, in Washington,” writes Bryant Gardner. “As in the...

Top 10 Environmental Watch List for 2011

In case you missed it, the Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center launched its first annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List. Makes for an interesting read. See http://watchlist.vermontlaw.edu/ .

Oil from Gulf of Mexico spill may still be present, particularly on the Gulf floor

Prior posts have noted that the dispersants used in the BP spill had a longer than anticipated life in the Gulf. Additionally, prior posts have noted the evidence supporting the thesis that the oil was consumed by microbes unusually fast. Recently published evidence indicates that the latter assertion...

Comment: Obtaining a Declaratory Judgment under CERCLA: Should the Past Control the Future?

By Rachael A. Doyle Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA") to address and remedy the improper disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes. Since its enactment, CERCLA has been highly criticized for its ostensibly high transaction...

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...

Do Homeowners Policies Protect Against Liability from Fracking Operations? Probably Not

My partner Dean Pappas and I recently had an article published by Best's Review (February 2012) that looks at the potential risks that arise from hydrofracking operations, and the extent to which a typical homeowner's insurance policy covers the damages and harms that may arise. For those of...

Settling Party Barred from Bringing a CERCLA Section 107(a) Claim

By Sedina L. Banks, Attorney, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP Last week, in the case of Solutia, Inc. and Pharmacia Corp. v. McWane, Inc. (Solutia) , the Eleventh Circuit held that a party that performs a cleanup in compliance with a consent decree has no right under the Comprehensive...

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...