Recent Posts

GAO issues estimate of number of abandoned mines in 13 States, and notes number of unsafe features at sites and how many sites are causing environmental degradation
Posted on 18 Feb 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Abandoned mines can be a source of a multitude of problems, such as acidic runoff, adverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems, heavy metal contamination of surface and ground waters, and threats to neighboring properties and individuals as dust is carried... Read More

Bank Not Liable For Auction Sale of Contaminated Property
Posted on 17 May 2012 by Larry Schnapf

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... Read More

Coal Ash Dumps: Congressional legislation introduced
Posted on 16 Jan 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

As noted in prior posts, the recent two spills of coal ash by TVA has brought attention to the threat that such dumps pose to surface and ground waters. Legislation has now been introduced to bring coal ash dumps under Federal regulation. See http://www... Read More

The Fourth Circuit grants deference to the Corps, and thus finds that CWA Section 404 permits can be issued for stream segments connecting valley fill from mountaintop mining with downstream sediment ponds
Posted on 27 Feb 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

"The mountaintop removal method of surface coal mining, pioneered in West Virginia, involves the blasting of the soil and rock atop a mountain to expose coal deposits below. While mining operations are ongoing, the overburden is hauled or pushed... Read More

California's DTSC warns lenders that they are required to properly clean up hazardous wastes found on foreclosed residential properties
Posted on 4 Nov 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

California's Department of Toxic Substances Control, a division of Cal-EPA, has issued a press release reminding lenders who foreclose on residential properties and the restoration companies that are contracted to prepare the homes for resale that... 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

California courts lack jurisdiction to review arbitrator's prehearing order
Posted on 19 Feb 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Leases and contracts are the primary relationship between landlords and tenants. When a tenant causes contamination, the remedies provided for in the lease often are utilized in addition to tort remedies (e.g., nuisance) and statutory remedies (e.g.,... Read More

EPA makes changes to EPCRA regulations re extremely hazardous substances
Posted on 14 Dec 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Many of the recent changes to the Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which went into effect Dec. 3, were missed by regulated entities because the changes were "buried" in the Federal Register Notice. 73 Fed.... Read More

Senators call for regulation of coal ash dumps
Posted on 9 Jan 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In a prior post it was noted that there are numerous coal ash dumps in the U.S., particularly in the Eastern half of the country, that are not regulated under Federal law. In light of the recent major spill in Tennessee and the association of coal ash... Read More

District Court Holds Vapor Intrusion Is Imminent and Substantial Endangerment
Posted on 18 Jun 2012 by Larry Schnapf

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... Read More

Sierra Club asks EPA to repeal Bush Administration hazardous waste recycling rule
Posted on 4 Feb 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

A prior post (11/5/08) reviewed a rule (and its multi-year history) issued by EPA that changed the definition of hazardous waste in order to encourage waste recycling. The post noted the following caveat: "Critics see the new rule as an escape hatch... Read More

Electronic manifest legislation passes Senate, but may die in House
Posted on 30 Oct 2008 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The Senate, by unanimous consent, passed S. 3109. [See http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-3109 .] The legislation would authorize the establishment of an electronic manifest system for shipments of hazardous waste. [See http://www.govtrack... Read More

Eighth Circuit "clarifies" issues left unresolved in U.S. Supreme Court's Atlantic Research and Cooper Industries opinions
Posted on 9 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In 1983, the City sought to restore a long closed well for use as a drinking water resource. It received complaints re taste and odor. The State of Nebraska and EPA investigated, and ultimately the site was added to the NPL in 1986. EPA determined that... Read More

Critics claim electronic waste legislation has loophole that allows nefarious conduct
Posted on 25 Jun 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

HR 2595 was introduced in the House in May; its laudable objective is to prohibit the export of certain electronic waste (e.g., PC's, servers, monitors, TV's, printers, copiers, video game systems, and other products with circuit boards) to countries... Read More

California Court of Appeal rules that the latent defect statute in repose of CCP Section 337.15 does not apply if site contamination does not arise from a latent defect
Posted on 24 Jan 2009 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) leased land from San Diego County (SDC). The lease between the SDUSC and SDC included a hold harmless clause in favor of the SDUSD. A separate agreement allocated the parties'' responsibilities for... Read More