Death, Taxes and CERCLA

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Vivek R. Hadley

July 9, 2019

Benjamin Franklin famously said that nothing in this world is certain, except death and taxes. A recent decision from the Southern District of Ohio ruled that in some circumstances, not even death can save a party from CERCLA liability.

In Garrett Day, LLC v. International Paper Co., No. 3:15-CV-36, 2019 WL 1331680 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 25, 2019), several parties fought over who should pay for the expensive cleanup of a former paper mill that operated for 100 years in Dayton, Ohio. The Site contained several hazardous substances like asbestos, trichloroethylene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls. The current owner of the Site brought a CERCLA claim and a similar state law claim against former owners and operators who may have contributed to the contamination.

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Impact of PFAS on Private Equity: Preparing for the Coming Wave of Regulation and Litigation

Akerman LLP
Ellen S. Robbins and Matthew J. Schroeder

July 11, 2019

Regulation of Per and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) is increasing at the state and federal level as costly PFAS-related litigation is on the rise throughout the United States. Found in everyday products such as food packaging, stain, water and grease-resistant materials, and nonstick cookware, as well as being present on virtually all military bases and airports, the prevalence of PFAS combined with the heightened awareness of the public and the plaintiffs’ bar, make private equity funds and their portfolio companies prime targets for litigation and regulation.

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Uncertainty Abounds Despite Clean Water Act Update

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Daniel R. Flynn

July 8, 2018

Last month marked the 50-year anniversary of one of the more infamous and impactful environmental disasters to occur in the United States. On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River, which runs through the heart of Cleveland before emptying into Lake Erie, caught fire for the 13th time. Time magazine ran a story that highlighted the river’s severe pollution.[1] The national reaction to the story is widely credited as the impetus for the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, now known as the Clean Water Act (CWA).[2] The objective of the CWA is “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.”[3] This seemingly straightforward and worthy objective has, however, led to more than 40 years of uncertainty and litigation over what constitutes “the nation’s waters” or “waters of the United States.”

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PCB Update To New Jersey Site Remediation Guidance

Manko Gold Katcher & Fox
Bruce S. Katcher

June 27, 2019

While many site remediation projects are effectively handled by complying with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, the dual jurisdiction of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NJDEP frequently comes into play when it comes to the remediation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated media. Consequently, the recent update of NJDEP’s guidance document “Coordination of NJDEP and USEPA PCB Remediation Policies” should be reviewed for any New Jersey remediation involving PCBs.

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EPA Finalizes ACE Rule

Winston & Strawn LLP
Stephanie B. Sebor

July 11, 2019

On July 8, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register finalizing three discrete rulemaking actions. First, EPA repealed the Clean Power Plan (CPP) promulgated by the Obama Administration on the grounds that the CPP exceeded EPA’s rulemaking authority. Second, EPA finalized the American Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which established emission guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired electric utility generating units (EGUs). Third, EPA finalized regulations for state plans implementing emission guidelines under Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(d). Notably, the agency did not finalize proposed changes to the CAA’s new source review regulations. It intends instead to finalize those revisions later as part of a separate rulemaking.

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