LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Fracking, Methane And Drinking Water

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer The Ernst v. Encana fracking lawsuit gained strength last month with the publication of Rob Jackson's peer-reviewed paper: Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing . Jackson is a professor at Duke...

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

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 an aside, it should be noted that Governor Brown...

Keller and Heckman LLP: Ninth Circuit Holds Railway Companies Not Liable for Contamination Under Nuisance Theory and California's Polanco Act

By Daniel J. Herling and Leila N. Qutami In Redevelopment Agency of the City of Stockton v. BNSF Railway Company , 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 13135 (June 28, 2011) 1 , the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the liability of BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company (the "Railroads"...

The manufacturer of PCE dry cleaning machine filtering system is not a CERCLA arranger

Since 1980, Team Enterprises, LLC leased space in a shopping center in Modesto, California, where it operated a dry cleaning store. From 1980 to 2004, Team used PCE in its dry cleaning equipment, and the machines generated wastewater containing PCE. Team used Puritan Rescue 800 filter-and-still combination...

More Thinking About Smith v Inco – A Videocast Analysis by Dianne Saxe

Noted Canadian environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe has prepared an excellent video analysis of a recent Canadian appellate decision, Smith v. Inco , that looks at the application of the famous strict liability case from England , Rylands v. Fletcher, [1868] UKHL 1, (1868) 3 L.R. 330 , in an environmental...

A Videocast on the Application of Rylands v. Fletcher In Nuisance Actions

Noted Canadian environmental lawyer Dianne Saxe has prepared an excellent video analysis of a recent Canadian appellate decision, Smith v. Inco , that looks at the application of the famous strict liability case from England , Rylands v. Fletcher, [1868] UKHL 1, (1868) 3 L.R. 330 , in an environmental...

Ongoing Cleanup Precludes Plaintiff From Establishing RCRA Imminent and Substantial Endangerment

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block A recent decision from the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected plaintiff's efforts to demonstrate RCRA imminent and substantial endangerment, notwithstanding the presence of benzene in indoor air in the basement of a facility. In Tilot Oil, LLC...

Keller and Heckman LLP – Product Contamination Insurance: South Dakota District Court Finds Ambiguity in Policy's "May Likely" Language

Hot Stuff Foods v. Houston Casualty Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92900 (D.S.D. July 5, 2012) , a recent decision out of federal court in South Dakota, highlights the importance of the "trigger" language in these types of product recall policies. At issue in the case was how to interpret the policy's...

Keller and Heckman LLP – California Federal District Court Opinion Clarifies Scope of Coverage of Product Contamination Insurance Policies

In Ruiz Food Products Inc. v. Catlin Underwriting U.S. Inc. , No. 11-889, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131031 (E.D. Cal, Sept. 13, 2012.) , the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California opined that Product Contamination Insurance (PCI) policies do not limit coverage to manufacturing occurring...

Lake Erie contains substantial quantities of tiny pieces of potentially toxic plastic

Prior posts have noted the great Atlantic and Pacific garbage patches. [See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch ; http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/what-is-the-great-pacific-ocean-garbage-patch ; &, http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans...

Cascades/Superior Paper Mill Cleanup: Final Settlement?

Going after individuals for cleanups of historic contamination continues to pay off for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment . The MOE Director issued a section 18 Order to five companies and three individuals to cleanup outstanding environmental issues at an old paper mill in Thunder Bay. The...

housefly ready to eat

Assessment Of Environmentally Contaminated Real Estate

by Bert M. Goodman The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s recent decision in Harley-Davidson Motor Company v. York County Board of Assessment Appeals (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. decided on October 30, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], demonstrates the importance of establishing...

Food Companies and Their Insurers Fight Over Recall Coverage

In Food Companies and Their Insurers Fight Over Recall Coverage, by Robert D. Chesler, Kathleen F. Donovan and Cathleen Kelly Rebar, the authors report on several developments over the past three years that have transformed a scattering of insurance coverage cases involving the food industry into a separate...

food safety eggs

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...

Contractor Sentenced To Prison For Contaminating Beach With Asbestos From Condo Renovation

As a result of beach contamination that occurred from illegally pressure washing siding on a high rise condo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, David Braswell has been sentenced in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for violation of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7412, [ enhanced version available...

New Report Concludes Water Will Impact Business Growth

A new report "Bridging Concern with Action: Are U.S. Companies Prepared for Looming Water Challenges?" by VOX Global and Pacific Institute concludes 60% of companies surveyed believe water is poised to affect business growth and profitability within five years. In addition, more than 80% say...

FSIS Proposes New Recordkeeping Requirements for Ground Beef Processors & Retailers

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) plans to propose a rule, in the coming days, that imposes new recordkeeping requirements on ground beef processor establishments and retail facilities. If adopted, this proposed rule, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], would...

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...

water do not drink

Contaminated Cheese and Chicken

One person dies from listeria linked to soft cheeses. Two people have been hospitalized and one has died in an ongoing listeria outbreak purportedly linked to Hispanic-style soft cheeses. The three cases were all reported in Washington state. The cheeses allegedly involved, made by Yakima, Washington...

Retrial: Lower Fines for Environmental Consultant

By Meredith James In 2011, we wrote about the record $161,000 in fines imposed upon an environmental consultant and his company. In addition, $40,500 in fines were imposed on their clients, Mr. James Sinclair and his company Sinclair Landing , owner of a contaminated site. Following an appeal and...

PA Court Declines to Aggregate Separate Compressor Stations

A Pennsylvania Court recently considered whether a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the air contamination sources are “adjacent”, thereby rendering a natural gas operators compressor facilities ineligible for GP-5 (minor source) air permits and requiring the natural gas...

Cheese Whey Spill: $80,000 Fine

By Meredith James Even seemingly innocuous substances, like human food and drink, can be hazardous to the natural environment. And spills of food and drink must be reported. Silani Sweet Cheese Limited manufactures a cheese at a facility in Bradford, West Gwilliumbury. In January 2013, ricotta...