New Rules Governing Hazardous Waste Storage in New York City are Coming Into Effect: Will Your Facility be Ready?

Posted By on April 16, 2014

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Council passed a flurry of laws designed to increase the resiliency of the City during future storm events. One of these laws, Local Law 143, requires operators of facilities that store hazardous substances to file additional information with the City under the Community Right to Know Program. Local Law 143, together with related amendments to the New York City Administrative Code, became effective March 30, 2014 and may change what your facility needs to report for 2015 reporting year. Will your facility be ready to comply with the new requirements? (more…)

Supreme Court Declines to Weigh in on CERCLA Subrogation Case

Posted By on April 8, 2014

Sometimes the Supreme Court’s silence can be just as powerful as a decision.  Or as James Joyce said about “absence” – it’s the “highest form of presence.” (more…)

A.G. Scheiderman and Assemblyman Sweeney Announce Legislation to Curb Pint Sized Pollutant that Poses Big Problem for New York

Posted By on March 11, 2014

Perhaps you’ve heard of the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a “plastic soup” of floating waste in the Pacific purportedly twice the size of the United States, but did you know that similar plastic pollution has been documented throughout the Great Lakes? Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney have recognized the threat that this pollution poses to human health, and have recently announced legislation that could speed significant changes in the plastics industry and stop the pollution at its source—your bathroom sink. (more…)

Environmental Disaster Highlights the Need for TSCA Reform

Posted By on February 12, 2014

Love Canal, New York; Cuyahoga River, Ohio; Times Beach, Missouri; Hopewell, Virginia; Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania.  These are the sites of some of the worst environmental contamination in our nation’s history.  Each of these disasters drew significant public attention, and incited the political will to confront similar environmental hazards more systematically. (more…)

Community Struggling to Recover from Chemical Spill in West Virginia

Posted By on February 12, 2014

For much of West Virginia, the start of the New Year brought anything but “good tidings.”

On January 9, 2014, approximately 10,000 gallons of the hazardous chemical substance 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (“MCHM”) leaked from a storage tank and flowed into the Elk River.  (more…)

What Is Required to Retain the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Exemption from CERCLA Liability?

Posted By on January 15, 2014

Have you been in the market to buy property, but learned that the property was contaminated?  There are steps that you can take to avoid opening yourself up to liability. (more…)

U.S. Supreme Court to Review EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act

Posted By on December 27, 2013

Go to the head of the class if you know the difference between CAFE standards and CAFO standards: in January of 2011, new corporate average fuel economy (“CAFE”) standards went into effect, requiring all automobile manufacturers to curb the amount of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) emitted from the tailpipes of Model Year 2012 cars. (more…)

DEC Announces New Environmental Self-Audit Policy With Incentives For Participating Businesses

Posted By on November 27, 2013

Have you ever wondered what you can do to reduce fines for environmental violations that you suspect you may have, but you live in fear of an environmental enforcement action that hammers you for it?

You may be able to avoid some of the pain by simply telling the government about the violation yourself, under a new state Environmental Audit Incentive Policy. (more…)

New York’s Highest Court to Weigh in on Local Fracking Bans in Closely-Watched Dryden and Middlefield Cases

Posted By on October 14, 2013

In a highly unusual move, the New York Court of Appeals has decided to hear an appeal despite an intermediate appeals court’s unanimous ruling. It was no surprise that Norse Energy Corp. USA appealed that lower court ruling  upholding the right of New York municipalities to regulate fracking through local land use laws. But court watchers in general, as well as fracking followers, were surprised by the high court’s ruling, are looking forward to that court’s ruling in Matter of Norse Energy Corp. USA, v. Town of Dryden et al., APL-2013-00245, that will offer the most authoritative state-level ruling possible on the fate of fracking in New York State. (more…)

Federal Court Upholds $105 Million Judgment Against ExxonMobil in Bellwether Groundwater Contamination Litigation

Posted By on October 7, 2013

Here’s a pop quiz: after an eleven week trial in federal court, a jury hands down a verdict of nearly $105 million against ExxonMobil for contaminating New York City’s drinking water. On appeal, the verdict is upheld. What environmental law enabled the jury to find, and the appellate court to affirm, such a large verdict? The Superfund Law? The Clean Water Act? The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act?

If you guessed any of the above, you’d be wrong. (more…)