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China's Pollution Woes Trigger a New Environment for Manufacturers in China

By Richard J. Ferris, Jr. China presents foreign manufacturers with many paradoxes. The most modern of manufacturing operations can exist nearby the most backward. Thousands of quality assurance, hygiene, energy conservation and other regulatory standards are in place, but access to, enforcement...

garbage burning

New Data on Open Burning of World’s Garbage

By E. Lynn Grayson Unregulated trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records. A new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimates that more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned in such fires...

water do not drink

US EPA Urban Air Toxics Report to Congress

By Joyce A. Gentry The US EPA has released the Second Integrated Urban Air Toxics Report to Congress. This is the final of two reports required by the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) to inform Congress on the process in reducing public health risks from urban air toxics. A copy of the complete report...

Pollution Exclusion and Lead: Supreme Court Declines To Follow Some Others’ Lead

It has become difficult to find a pollution exclusion case that warrants discussion. In general, while each case is different, they also often have so many similarities. As a result I’ve resorted to discussing cases that address whether the pollution exclusion applies to seemingly peculiar substances...

Appeal Court Rejects Pollution Exclusion in Oil Overflow

By Jennifer Kalnins Temple In O’Byrne et al. v. Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company (Lindsay) , 2014 ONCA 543, the Ontario Court of Appeal has forced an insurer to pay for a fuel oil cleanup after a spill, despite a pollution exclusion clause. The case involved an “all risks”...

The Selection Process: Ten Most Significant Coverage Decisions Of 2014

Welcome to the 14th annual look back at the year’s ten most significant insurance coverage decisions. As I always do at the outset, here is my description of the selection process (repeated from past years’ editions). The process is highly subjective, not in the least bit scientific, and...

EPA’s 2012 Primary Annual Fine Particle Designation Identifies Attainment Status for All of West Virginia

By Laura M. Goldfarb EPA designated all of West Virginia as being in attainment for the 2012 primary annual fine particle (PM 2.5 ) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by rule on December 18, 2014. This is significant for industry and business development in West Virginia because, air...

Less Environmental Enforcement = More Private Prosecutions?

When governments do little to enforce environmental laws, generally or in particular areas, private citizens and environmental groups sometimes try to fill the gaps with private prosecutions. These cases are burdensome and expensive to handle, but can make a significant difference, as Ecojustice’s...

The 10 Most Significant Liability Coverage Cases – Of All Time

I have spent fourteen years coming up with a list of the ten most significant liability coverage cases of that year. In all that time it never occurred to me, until now, to put together a list of the ten most significant coverage cases of all-time. These would be the cases, more than any others, that...

Supreme Court Hears Chevron Ecuador Pollution Appeal

Can foreign pollution judgments be enforced in Canada? The Supreme Court of Canada has heard arguments on the attempt by Ecuador pollution plaintiffs to enforce their $9 plus billion Ecuador judgment against Chevron’s Canadian assets, in Chevron Corporation, et al. v. Daniel Carlos Lusitande Yaiguaje...

Texas Petrochemical Refinery Achieves Reasoned Victory Against Clean Air Act Citizen Suit

ExxonMobil Corp. (Exxon) operates a refinery complex in Baytown, Texas, which is the largest petroleum and petrochemical complex in the U.S. This Complex is governed by Title V operating permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). In a 2010 citizen lawsuit, Environmental Texas...

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Kawartha Oil Spill Cost Recovery Litigation Drags On

City of Kawartha Lakes taxpayers continue to pay heavily for the Ministry of the Environment’s 2009 order, which required the City to cleanup an oil spill that it did not cause. While everyone agreed that the City was an innocent victim of the spill, the Ministry saddled the City with $471,691...

I’m Not Lion: Court Holds That Cat Urine Not Precluded By Pollution Exclusion – Case More Enjoyable Than Cats

Pollution Exclusion cases have become so abundant, and similar, that I’ve taken to limiting my discussion of them in Coverage Opinions to the ones that are truly unique. (See CO, __ (trust me)). Mellin v. Northern Security Insurance Co., No 2014-020 (N.H. Apr. 24, 2015) is in the unique category...

Williams Mullen: Supreme Court Ruling on EPA Mercury Rule: Utilities Win the Battle, But Lose the War

By Jessica J.O. King The Clean Air Act requires EPA to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from coal-fired power plants if the agency determines that such “regulation is appropriate and necessary” after studying the hazards the emissions pose to human health. EPA conducted the...

Williams Mullen: Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates

By A. Keith "Kip" McAlister, Jr. | With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Coming in the...

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