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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...

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...

CA Drought/New Water Supply Reports

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) recently issued a new report titled "2014 Drought: Impacts and Strategies for Resilience" for building a statewide water management system more resilient to drought. At the same time, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pacific Institute...

GAO Finds EPA Needs to Better Protect Drinking Water from Fracking Activities

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled “ Drinking Water: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement ,” in which the GAO reviews EPA’s oversight of its Underground...

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...

Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program Update

Many of our Ohio based automotive suppliers with retained environmental liability are performing soil and groundwater cleanups using the Ohio Voluntary Action Program (VAP). My colleagues and I thought it would be timely to describe the August 1, 2014 Ohio EPA rules for the VAP program and how these...

US EPA Issues First-Ever RCRA “Imminent and Substantial Endangerment” Order for Vapor Intrusion at Fort Gillem, Georgia

By: Alexander J. Bandza In what appears to be the first-ever RCRA § 7003, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], “imminent and substantial endangerment” order for vapor intrusion, US EPA Region 4 issued an order last month for the US Army to take expedited corrective...

Top 10 CAFO Violations

David Letterman has his Top 10 list. Now the Indiana Department of Environment Management (IDEM) has its Top 10 list for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). These large livestock producers are primarily regulated through IDEM's confined feeding operation (CFO) regulations. Recently, IDEM...

California Enacts Comprehensive Groundwater Management Legislation

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a historic package of three bills— Senate Bill 1168 , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Senate Bill 1319 , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], and Assembly Bill 1739 , [ enhanced version available to...

New Advances In and Benefits of Green Stormwater Management

While I have written extensively for years on sustainability, I have emphasized energy, greenhouse gases, etc., and less on other important items, such as waste reduction and water conservation. So here I write about issues in stormwater management. As land becomes more developed, there is less natural...

Pennsylvania’s TENORM Study is Released – What are the Conclusions?

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in virtually all soil and rock on the earth’s surface. NORM can also be found in groundwater as the result of its contact with NORM bearing geologic formations. When human related activities disturb the soil, rock or groundwater and change...

Virginia’s Draft State Water Resources Plan

By Henry R. "Speaker" Pollard, V The severe drought in Virginia in 2002 saw several localities nearly exhaust available public water supplies and reenergized public policy concerns about Virginia’s water resources and their proper and sustainable management. This led the General...