A recent study by the University of Cincinnati found high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs) in residents from the Mid-Ohio River Valley over a 22-year period. The study’s findings are largely consistent with increased detection of PFOAs in water sources nationwide in recent years. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, persists indefinitely in the environment and is identified as a substance that is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Until recently, PFOAs were routinely used in making a number of consumer products like stain-resistant fabrics, food …Continue Reading
Pruitt Intends to Rebalance the EPA – Rejecting the idea that “You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”
In March, Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed a new direction for the EPA during his remarks at Ceraweek, an annual conference involving leaders in industry, energy, the financial sectors, and government. In his opening statements, Pruitt discussed changes at the EPA dedicated to these core values: (1) where process matters; (2) the rule of law will be respected; and, (3) cooperative federalism. Pruitt explained this new balance as a synergy of pro-growth and environmental policy.
According to Pruitt, “the process …Continue Reading
Regulated Industry Beware: Citizen Suit Under Clean Air Act Results in Largest Ever Penalty
In late April 2017, ExxonMobil was ordered to pay almost $20 million in penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act in the Houston area. The oil giant was sued in 2010 by environmental groups The Sierra Club and Environment Texas, which alleged that the corporation emitted levels of hazardous contaminants in excess of what is permitted by federal and state law. U.S. District Judge David Hittner stated in his decision that Exxon financially benefited to the tune of $14 million from delaying implementation of …Continue Reading
CERCLA Update – Watch Out for Inadequacies in Allegations; Pleading Requirements to Satisfy a “Disposal”
Late last year, in our Law360 article “Definition Of ‘Disposal’ Limits CERCLA’s Applicability,” we analyzed an Ohio District Court’s pleading requirements to state a claim for liability under CERCLA. The plaintiffs’ initial complaint in that case had been dismissed because it failed to sufficiently allege “active human conduct” causing hazardous substances to be “discharged, deposited, injected, dumped, spilled, leaked or placed into or on any land or water at the Site so that it could enter the environment.” We left off with the …Continue Reading
Up in the Air: The Evaporating Confidence of New York Property Owners
A growing number of New York State property owners are facing legal issues, decreases in property value, unexpected environmental remediation costs, and general uncertainty because of a phenomenon called “vapor intrusion.” Goldberg Segalla’s John F. Parker and Rosa D. Forrester have explained the issue in an article for New York Law Journal.
“In New York, recent changes in environmental guidelines and practices have led to the reopening of previously closed environmental spill sites to further investigate the presence of volatile organic compounds that have …Continue Reading
Paper Beats Rock? Illinois Legislature Entertaining Dueling Bills on Rock Quarry Water Monitoring
As the clock winds down on the 2017 legislative session, the Illinois legislature is currently debating over two diametrically opposed bills regarding the proper testing to be done on the groundwater surrounding reclaimed rock quarries.
Representative Margo McDermed, a Republican, has sponsored legislation that would require groundwater monitoring around quarries that are being used to store construction waste. Under current Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regulations, concrete free of steel reinforcement bars, rock, stone, brick, and asphalt from sites where buildings are going up or being …Continue Reading