Environmental

    • 1 Dec 2015

    EPA to Require TRI Reporting from Natural Gas Processing Facilities

    EPA has announced that it will begin requiring natural gas processing facilities to file Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reports, although the announcement did not include a timeline for doing so. The agency had been under pressure by environmental groups to add the entire Oil and Gas Extraction Section, including well sites, compressor stations, pipelines and small oil and gas facilities to the reporting rule, but declined...
    • 2 Nov 2015

    EPA Proposes Hazardous Waste Rule for Pharmaceuticals

    A pre-publication draft of a proposed rule by EPA may clarify hazardous waste requirements for obsolete or defective pharmaceuticals. EPA proposes a new Subpart P entitled “Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals” to 40 CFR Part 266 of its RCRA regulations. The rule provides tailored, sector-specific standards for the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by healthcare facilities (including pharmacies), transporters...
    • 19 Oct 2015

    EPA Proposes New Rules for Pharmaceutical Hazardous Waste Management and for Other Hazardous Waste Generators

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two new proposed hazardous waste rules that EPA believes would clarify and simplify requirements for health care facilities and retail pharmacies to manage their unused pharmaceuticals that meet hazardous waste criteria, and would offer flexibility for occasional and small quantity hazardous waste generators in managing their waste. The first proposed rule...
    • 27 Jul 2015

    D.C. Circuit Rejects Environmentalist and Industry Challenges to EPA’s Nonhazardous Secondary Materials Rule; Implications for Combustion Standards Remain

    Last week, the D.C. Circuit issued an unpublished per curiam decision in Solvay USA Inc. v. U.S. EPA , No. 11-1189 (D.C. Cir.), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], rejecting all arguments from both environmentalists and industry against EPA’s non-hazardous secondary material (NHSM) regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). By way of...
    • 17 Jul 2015

    Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling Protocol

    By A. Keith "Kip" McAlister, Jr. The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), SW-846 Method 1311, was promulgated by EPA pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to test and determine the potential leaching rate of disposed hazardous wastes in landfills. 55 Fed. Reg . 11798, 11827 (Mar. 29, 1990), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance...
    • 15 Jul 2015

    South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

    By Jessica J.O. King The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42 U.S.C.A. §9601 to 9675 (1988), as amended, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. A PRP that...
    • 4 May 2015

    EPA E-Manifest Implementation Update

    By E. Lynn Grayson On October 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (PDF) , which authorizes the EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system. Commonly referred to as "e-Manifest," this national system is envisioned to be implemented by the EPA in partnership with industry and states. EPA issued the e-manifest final rule, effective...
    • 3 Mar 2015

    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 management components of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). At a recent stakeholder meeting held in...
    • 26 Feb 2015

    New EPA Rule Regulates Coal Ash As Non-Hazardous

    By E. Lynn Grayson The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) from coal-fired power plants which will be regulated under the nonhazardous waste provisions of RCRA. In developing the new rule, the EPA evaluated more than 450,000 comments on the proposed rule, testimony form eight public hearings...
    • 24 Feb 2015

    E-Waste Settlement Nets State of California $51.8 Million

    By Steven M. Siros AT&T agreed to pay $51.8 million to resolve allegations that it improperly disposed of hazardous electronic waste at its facilities in California. In one of the first enforcement actions of its kind in California, AT&T has agreed to expend $28 million over the next five years to improve its electronic waste handling practices, as well as pay $18.8 million in civil penalties and $5 million...
    • 10 Feb 2015

    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, 2015), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The revised rules now require generators of recyclable hazardous...
    • 5 Feb 2015

    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. Although CCR will not be regulated as hazardous waste under Subtitle C of RCRA, the rulemaking does provide a number...
    • 22 Jan 2015

    Safeway, Inc. to Pay $9.87 Million Settlement for Environmental Violations

    Safeway Inc. has entered into a Stipulated Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction in California to resolve allegations that more than 500 Safeway stores and distribution centers, including its other brands, Vans, Pavilions and Pak 'n Save, violated California laws for the safe storage, handling and disposal of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste generated from spills and customer returns of hazardous products. The...
    • 24 Dec 2014

    DOD Finalizes Amendments to DFARS Regarding the Storage, Treatment, and Disposal of Non-DOD Toxic and Hazardous Materials on DOD Sites

    The Department of Defense (DOD) has published a final rule that amends Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) subpart 223.71 to better align the DFARS with the current provisions set forth in 10 U.S.C. 2692, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], concerning storage, treatment, and disposal of nondefense toxic and hazardous materials. This rule affects contractors and subcontractors...
    • 15 Oct 2014

    Significant Change to EPA’s 'All Appropriate Inquiry' Rule

    Performing a Phase I environmental site assessment has long been a routine, but integral part of the environmental due diligence in any transaction involving the acquisition of an interest in commercial and industrial real property. Perhaps the most important aspect of performing a Phase I is the information that it provides to a potential buyer or anyone acquiring an interest in real property. It aids such party in making...
    • 4 Sep 2014

    Millions For Offsite Gasoline Contamination

    The Ontario Superior Court has awarded millions to a neighbouring property owner for historic offsite gasoline contamination. The decision in Canadian Tire Real Estate Ltd. v. Huron Concrete Supply Ltd . illustrates, and will perpetuate, the continuing confusion over liability for off site groundwater plumes. Justice Leitch never explains how her decision can be reconciled with the landmark Smith v. Inco decision on trespass...
    • 28 Aug 2014

    Sixth Circuit Weighs in on CERCLA Cost Recovery, Contribution Actions

    By Glenn A. Harris The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court recently issued an important opinion, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], related to claims to recover environmental cleanup costs at an Ohio landfill. The court’s ruling in Hobart Corporation, et al. v. Waste Management of Ohio, Inc., et al . , is the first decision of a Court of Appeals determining the effect of...
    • 21 Aug 2014

    Appellate Court Rejects Challenge To NPL Listing

    A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], rejected a challenge to U.S. EPA's decision to list a site on the National Priorities List ("NPL"), finding that although the petitioner had standing to challenge the NPL listing, it impermissibly sought to rely on information that was not contained in the administrative record...
    • 22 Jul 2014

    Supreme Court Narrows CERCLA Preemption of State Limits on Tort Claims

    In an opinion strictly interpreting the statutory text of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the U.S. Supreme Court limited the scope of a CERCLA provision that is designed to extend state law claims for personal injury or property damage resulting from hazardous substance contamination. Although the case may have limited practical application because of the relatively unique...
    • 21 Jul 2014

    North Carolina Seeks To Amend Statute Of Repose Following Waldburger Decision

    Within hours of the Supreme Court's decision in CTS Corporation v. Waldburger , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], finding that that CERCLA's "discovery rule" did not preempt North Carolina's 10-year statute of repose, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States Department of Justice asked the Eleventh Circuit to dismiss plaintiffs' claims...
    • 16 Jul 2014

    U.S. Supreme Court Rules That CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statutes Of Repose

    The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the preemptive power of CERCLA, holding that CERCLA does not preempt state statutes of repose, even though it does preempt certain state statutes of limitation. On June 9, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of CTS Corp. v. Waldburger , No. 13-339, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], reversing the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and upholding the application...
    • 2 Jul 2014

    U.S. EPA Proposes Increased Reliance on TRI Data to Drive Enforcement Actions

    U.S. EPA has announced that it is in the process of developing new electronic tools to utilize the data collected by its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) to better focus its enforcement efforts. According to Steven Knizner, acting director of U.S. EPA's TRI Program Division, U.S. EPA's TRI program "is not just about releases but what is being done to prevent releases." U.S. EPA's TRI program covers...
    • 26 Jun 2014

    Grocery Chain To Pay $3.3 Million For Illegal Disposal And Mismanagement Of Hazardous Waste

    Albertsons, LLC (Albertsons) has been ordered to pay $3.3 million to settle a lawsuit charging illegal disposal, transportation, storage, and mismanagement of hazardous waste. Albertsons has 188 retail stores and two distribution centers currently operating in California. The settlement is the culmination of a civil enforcement action signed June 4, 2014, in the Superior Court of California in Orange County on behalf...
    • 11 Jun 2014

    Improper PCB Disposal Leads To $13.75M Fine

    By Steven M. Siros . In what constitutes the largest penalty for violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA") at a single site, a titanium product manufacturer agreed to pay $13.75 million to settle the Government's claims relating to the improper disposal of PCBs at a site in Henderson, Nevada. According to the allegations in the Government's complaint and accompanying consent decree ...
    • 9 Jun 2014

    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 groundwater, after finding that the act does not preempt a state’s statute of repose ( CTS Corp. v. Peter Waldburger...