Environmental

Recent Posts

Under California's Polanco Act, owners of a right-of-way to property are not owners or operators for subsurface contamination they did not cause and had no duty to investigate
Posted on 17 Jul 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

California's Polanco Act provides a powerful (some would say one sided) tool for Redevelopment Agencies to force the remediation of a site subject to redevelopment, or to cause PRP's to reimburse such agencies for the remedial cost outlays. [As... Read More

GAO: States are under reporting drinking water violations
Posted on 6 Aug 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

EPA has delegated enforcement of drinking water standards to most States. EPA depends on the reported data to monitor the effectiveness of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program. To assess the accuracy of the data reported, EPA asked GAO to audit... Read More

EPA lacks authority to regulate nanomaterials, states EPA IG, even if regulations are soon issued under FIFRA and TSCA
Posted on 5 Feb 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the wide use of nanomaterials in consumer goods, and the threat to human health that particles of such size may pose. An example of the risk posed by nanomaterials is sunscreen. Dermal penetration of some nanomaterials into the... Read More

EPA lacks authority to regulate nanomaterials, states EPA IG, even if regulations are soon issued under FIFRA and TSCA
Posted on 5 Feb 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the wide use of nanomaterials in consumer goods, and the threat to human health that particles of such size may pose. An example of the risk posed by nanomaterials is sunscreen. Dermal penetration of some nanomaterials into the... Read More

Amoebas in drinking water: An untreated threat to health
Posted on 5 Feb 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

EPA recently announced they are moving forward, contrary to the policy of the Bush Administration, with setting standards for various toxics in drinking water. Unfortunately, attention is not being given to a serious health threat, amoebas in drinking... Read More

Where is the methane from the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout?
Posted on 5 Feb 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Natural gas in various forms comprised approximately 2/3 of the hydrocarbons emitted from the Deepwater Horizon well blowout. Methane is believed to compose an estimated 87.5% of that natural gas. Sampling in June 2010 found no microbial breakdown of... Read More

Under California's Polanco Act, owners of a right-of-way to property are not owners or operators for subsurface contamination they did not cause and had no duty to investigate
Posted on 17 Jul 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

California's Polanco Act provides a powerful (some would say one sided) tool for Redevelopment Agencies to force the remediation of a site subject to redevelopment, or to cause PRP's to reimburse such agencies for the remedial cost outlays. [As... Read More

Diversity not only provides increased stability to ecological communities, it is more efficient for remediating contamination
Posted on 13 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

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... Read More

Ongoing exposure of numerous individuals to wind blown toxic materials comes within "mass action" exception to removal pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act
Posted on 17 Jun 2013 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

In Abraham v. St. Croix Renaissance Group , 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9899 (3rd Cir. 2013), Defendant sought to remove the case pursuant to Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFE"). Plaintiffs (459 in number) alleged that defendant purchased the site at... 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

9th Circuit upholds California's Vessel Fuel Rules in face of constitutional challenge
Posted on 4 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted that California issued Vessel Fuel Rules designed to reduce air pollution created by ships moving along the coast. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Assoc. sued, alleging that it was unconstitutional to apply such rules to shipping... Read More

NRDC challenge to EPA approval of California CAA SIP fails
Posted on 4 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

California submitted a Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan to the EPA for approval. Pursuant to the "conformity rule" under 40 C.F.R. Section 93.118, the EPA conducted a review to determine whether the SIP's motor vehicle emissions budgets... Read More

Ninth Circuit rules that owners of storm water systems (e.g., cities, counties, districts) are liable for discharges of polluted stormwater into rivers and ocean
Posted on 11 Mar 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

It is well known that stormwater gathers a variety of pollutants as it flows across the landscape and even through stormwater drainage systems. See, for example, http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6 and http://www.epa.gov/owow_keep/NPS/index... Read More

Some bacteria found on grocery store meat are resistant to antibiotics, often many antibiotics
Posted on 15 Apr 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the unfortunate tendency in much of the world, including the U.S., to over prescribed antibiotics (even for conditions in which antibiotics are of no use whatsoever [e.g., viral infections]), resulting in disease-causing organisms... Read More

GAO: States are under reporting drinking water violations
Posted on 6 Aug 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

EPA has delegated enforcement of drinking water standards to most States. EPA depends on the reported data to monitor the effectiveness of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) program. To assess the accuracy of the data reported, EPA asked GAO to audit... Read More