Satellite measurements show huge drop in groundwater aquifers in California's Central Valley

By Thomas H. Clarke, Jr. For the last three years, California has been experiencing a major drought; only this season has the rainfall been "normal", probably due to El Nino. Yet, during the last six years, even before the onset of the drought, crop irrigation in California's Central...

Cattle feed can contribute to increased rural ozone levels

As noted in prior posts, livestock operations are often associated with polluting streams and groundwater. Manure lagoons not only are associated with odor, but because of the nitrogen and phosphorus produced are associated with dead zones in streams and estuarial habitats. Additionally, prior posts...

California's OEHHA sets a Public Health Goal for Chrome-6 at 0.02 ppb

Hexavalent Chromium (aka Chrome-6 or Cr-6) is a known human carcinogen when inhaled; there has been considerable debate in recent years regarding its toxicity if ingested. Cr-6 has been used in the past as an anti-microbial on cooling towers. Chromium compounds are also used 1) in the fabrication...

Diversity not only provides increased stability to ecological communities, it is more efficient for remediating contamination

It has long been an axiom of environmental science that a diverse ecological community (aka biodiversity) is more resilient and productive because it stabilizes the ecological system as a whole. This should not be confused with a focus on an individual species for which the complex interactions within...

New EPA Draft Report Links Contaminants Found In Groundwater To Fracking

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block On December 8, 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("U.S. EPA") issued a draft report noting a need for the collection of more baseline data, greater transparency on the chemical composition of fracking fluids and more...

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...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Wyoming Approves Hunting of Wolves

ENVIRONMENT The WYOMING Game and Fish Commission approves a plan to allow hunters to kill up to 52 wolves in the Equality State this fall (IDAHO STATESMAN [BOISE]). • The HAWAII House gives final approval to HB 2296, which would bar the import and sale of products that contain bear gallbladders...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Vermont Bans Shale Gas Fracking

ENVIRONMENT The ILLINOIS Senate approves HB 4119, which would ban the sale or possession of shark fins, a delicacy often used in Chinese cooking. The measure moves to Gov. Pat Quinn (D) for review (QUAD-CITY TIMES [DAVENPORT]). • VERMONT Gov. Pete Shumlin (D) signs HB 464, a bill making the...

Natural Gas Fracking Itself Is Not Contaminating Groundwater; Poor Waste Management and Bore Wells Are

Prior posts have noted groundwater contamination associated with natural gas produced from deep shale deposits by hydraulic fracturing. A study by researchers (with no industry contributions) concludes that such pollution results not from liquids pumped down to the shale deposits to fracture the deep...

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...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Fracking Not A Watered-Down Topic

FRACKING REMAINS A HOT TOPIC IN MANY STATES: The controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," has boiled over in numerous statehouses this year. The battle has often come down along party lines, with Republicans heavily supporting measures allowing the process over...

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...

Supreme Court: CERCLA Does Not Preempt State’s Statute Of Repose

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) A U.S. Supreme Court majority today reversed a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) against a company accused of contaminating...