Recent Posts

CERCLA statute of limitations for removal or remedial action begins to run upon completion of the removal or remedial action, California District Court reaffirms
Posted on 4 Sep 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In Enns Pontiac, Buick, & GMC et al v. Flores, et al , 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84387 (E.D.CA. 2008), the District Court reaffirmed the rule for the triggering of the statute of limitations. “It is not critical to determine at this time whether... Read More


EPA needs to improve internal controls to improve cost recovery, says Inspector General
Posted on 26 May 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The EPA IG has recently noted that internal controls need to be improved to increase the recovery of costs from responsible parties. One major problem is that the search for PRP's is too limited and inconsistent. Regions 5, 9, and 10 came in for criticism... Read More


Prior settlement agreement cannot be used to establish successor liability in CERCLA case, notes Indiana District Court
Posted on 4 Apr 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The twisted tale begins thus. "In 1922, the United States Rubber Company purchased a 43-acre parcel of land on North Hill Street in Mishawaka, Indiana ("Hill Street site" or "site"). The Company used the site for manufacturing... Read More


Cases to Watch: Supreme Court Could Address Key Cost Recovery Issue in Morrison Enterprises
Posted on 29 Sep 2011 by Jenner & Block Corporate Environmental Lawyer

By Keri L. Holleb Hotaling, Partner, Jenner & Block LLP When the Supreme Court returns from its summer recess on September 26 to select cases for review this fall, it is likely to consider taking up Morrison Enterprises, LLC v. Dravo Corp .... Read More

Limited partner entitled to MSJ on third-party complaint involving CWA violations where complainant utterly failed to show that LP was in any manner tied to the alleged violations
Posted on 9 Aug 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The United States filed a complaint against the Savoy Senior Housing et al in July 2006, alleging violations of the CWA. The violations were alleged to have occurred during construction at the Liberty Village Site ("the Site"), which began in... Read More


Comment: Obtaining a Declaratory Judgment under CERCLA: Should the Past Control the Future?
Posted on 3 Aug 2011 by LexisNexis Environmental Law Community Staff

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... Read More

The immediate past owner of property cannot be successfully sued by the current owner under CERCLA or RCRA to either obtain contribution or force action related to ACM in place at the time of purchase
Posted on 21 Oct 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In 1985, plaintiff Sycamore Industrial Park Associates bought an industrial property with fixtures, including a boiler-based steam heating system, from defendant Ericsson, Inc. Before it sold the property, Ericsson installed a new natural gas heating... Read More


CERCLA Claims Against Environmental Contractor Allowed To Proceed
Posted on 28 Oct 2011 by Steven M. Siros

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block A federal district court refused to dismiss a lawsuit alleging CERCLA liability on the part of several environmental contractors that performed an environmental assessment and cleanup of a contaminated... Read More

CERCLA statute of limitations is triggered by the initiation of the remedial action, except in the 9th Circuit
Posted on 8 Oct 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Plaintiff Douglas Autotech Corp. is the current owner of industrial property located in Bronson, Michigan ; it purchased the property in December 1989. Defendant Scott Fetzer Co. owned the property from 1978 to 1984. In 1985, groundwater contamination... Read More


CERCLA does not completely preempt state law causes of action arising from contamination, holds California District Court
Posted on 4 Sep 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Plaintiff California Water Service Company is a public utility water corporation that owns and operates public drinking water systems. The complaint alleges that PCE and its degradation products ("PCE") are contaminating and damaging plaintiff's... Read More


Settlement agreements over sites with at least some unknown contaminants need tolling agreements and reopener clauses, or cost-cap insurance to minimize risk
Posted on 10 Dec 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Reichhold purchased land from U.S. Metals Corp.; the property had contaminants thereon. When Reichhold initiated the sale of the property many years later, it was required under New Jersey law to investigate the property and address any contamination... Read More


In litigation, experts need to refer to hard data and to note how they arrived at their conclusions, notes Connecticut District Court. Duh
Posted on 27 Aug 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

It seems like second nature, but in trial one always needs to make sure that one's expert(s) point to specific data related to contaminants at a site or area under consideration in order to support their conclusions and to demonstrate that alternative... Read More


District Court notes diminished property value is not a CERCLA response cost. Duh
Posted on 2 May 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Okay class, one more time. When suing under CERCLA, you are at best entitled to recover costs associated with removal and remedial actions. And, of course, do not forget NCP compliance. In Schamerhorn v. U. S. Department of the Army, et al, 2009 U... Read More


Communications Between DOJ Attorneys Representing Separate Agencies Ordered Disclosed
Posted on 31 Jan 2012 by Steven M. Siros

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block DOJ attorneys representing the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the "Corps") and the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") found themselves unable to rely... Read More

Saccharin is no longer a hazardous waste (really)
Posted on 11 Jan 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

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... Read More