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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 28 posts in CERCLA/Superfund. View our practice description for CERCLA/Superfund.

EPA Retracts CERCLA Remedy Selection Authority from Regional Offices for Remedies that Exceed $50 Million

On May 9, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued two new delegations under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) that limit to the Administrator (and possibly the Deputy Administrator) the authority to select remedies estimated to cost over $50 million. One delegation concerns Superfund sites generally; the other relates to federal facilities. Previously, all remedy selection was delegated to the Assistant Administrator for Office of Land and Emergency Management and the Regional Administrators. The authority to sign Records of Decision estimated to cost less than $50 million remains with those officials. A copy of the revised delegations and accompanying memorandum are available here.   Read More ›

Lost Insurance Policy? Pursuing Coverage for Long-Tail Environmental Liability Still Feasible

Companies facing environmental cleanup liability typically confront claims that are brought multiple decades after the alleged polluting activity took place. This passage of time often results in the loss or disappearance of crucial historic documents, including insurance policies, necessary to respond to the claims.  Historic general liability insurance policies issued before pollution exclusions became commonplace in the 1970s are of particular value in protecting a company from exposure to “long-tail” environmental liability.  Finding these policies, or evidence of their existence, therefore is a must.  A recent New Jersey federal court decision serves as a helpful reminder that when the actual policies cannot be located, even limited documentary evidence of their existence, when buttressed by the expert testimony of a credentialed insurance archaeologist, may be sufficient to prove the coverage and facilitate recovery. Read More ›

D.C. Circuit Signals Limits on EPA’s Authority to Reduce Requirements in Existing Environmental Rules: Waterkeeper Alliance v. US EPA

As the Trump Administration seeks to re-write many of the nation’s environmental rules, the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, has issued a decision in Waterkeeper Alliance v. US EPA that signals the important oversight role the federal courts will play in reviewing executive actions, providing a cautionary note on the limits of executive authority. Read More ›

EPA Issues Guidance for Characterization and Remediation of Contaminated Sediment Sites Under CERCLA

In a Directive sent to Regional Administrators on January 9, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Office of Land and Emergency Management has identified eleven recommendations intended to facilitate the development, evaluation, selection and implementation of response actions at contaminated sediment sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). The Directive supplements, but does not supersede, EPA’s previous sediment site guidance documents issued in 2002 and 2005, and draws upon EPA’s experience at dozens of contaminated sediment sites – among the most complex and expensive environmental cleanups in the nation – to highlight the importance of risk reduction and adaptive management strategies in achieving remedial goals.  EPA stresses its importance at sites with bioaccumulative contaminants where a response action is warranted in part because of risk to human health from consumption of fish or shellfish (i.e., PCBs, dioxins and furans, or methyl mercury). Read More ›

Second Circuit Offers Policyholders Painful Reminder on Giving Notice of Claims: Don’t Wait, Use Correct Addresses, and Be Specific

In January 2017, the Second Circuit ruled that policyholders must actually or presumptively give their insurers notice of specific policies under which they seek coverage—mailing a notice of the claim may not be enough. Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 15-3117-CV, 2017 WL 391926 (2d Cir. Jan. 27, 2017). Read More ›

New York Extends Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Damages Caused by Contamination from Superfund Sites

On July 21, 2016, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law New York State Assembly Bill No. A09568, which amends the statute of limitations for filing actions to recover damages for
personal injury caused by contamination from Superfund sites.  The legislation is a result of public concern about the discovery of water contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York, and  Flint, Michigan. Read More ›

Eric Klein Quoted on Use of Freedom of Information Act to Challenge EPA in Bloomberg BNA

Eric Klein, a Principal and litigator in Beveridge & Diamond's Washington, DC office, was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report article titled "Companies Turn to FOIA to Challenge EPA Cleanups." Read More ›

EPA Proposes to Amend the Site Remediation NESHAP to Remove the Exemption for Site Remediation Activities Performed under CERCLA and RCRA

Summary:  On May 13, 2016, EPA proposed to amend several provisions of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs): Site Remediation.  The Site Remediation Rule currently exempts from hazardous air pollutant standards remediation activities performed under the authority of CERCLA and those conducted under a RCRA corrective action or other required RCRA order. EPA is proposing to remove the CERCLA/RCRA exemption and to remove the applicability requirement that a site remediation must be co-located with a facility that is regulated by other NESHAPs in order to be subject to the Site Remediation Rule. Comments are due June 27, 2016. Read More ›

Maryland Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Legislative Updates

Maryland’s annual legislative session ended on April 13, 2015, and with the close of the session came new legislation that affects environmental regulation in Maryland.  Read More ›

Maryland Proposes Hazardous Substance Reporting Rule

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) proposed hazardous substance reporting obligations on Friday, October 31, 2014.  These regulations would implement Environment Article §7-222(d), amended in 2008, requiring reporting to MDE “immediately” of certain information that “indicates the release of a hazardous substance into the environment” above a "threshold."  The law became effective as of October 1, 2009, but without implementing regulations the law has not been enforceable.  The proposed regulations would provide reporting threshold levels, further construe when reporting is triggered, and establish reporting procedures.  Read More ›