DEC Undertaking Statewide PFAS Evaluation at Remediation Sites

Phillips Lytle LLP
David P. Flynn and Luke Donigan

April 3, 2018

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) is requiring owners of remediation sites across the State (including those already remediated to DEC’s satisfaction) to analyze and report on the presence of 1,4-dioxane and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (collectively “PFAS”) in groundwater. This has been triggered by concerns about these “emerging contaminants” at Hoosick Falls and other sites across the State. DEC has begun to send letters to many remediation site owners notifying them of the new statewide evaluation requirements and asking site owners to schedule sampling dates.

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Synergy Environmental to Host Mid-Atlantic Training

June 4th to 8th, 2018

Synergy Environmental, Inc.
Brian Loughnane

April 19, 2018

Waterloo Hydrogeologic will hold its Mid-Atlantic training for Visual MODLFOW Flex at Synergy’s Royersford, PA Headquarters for the second straight year.

As known by many in the water resources industry, Waterloo Hydrogeologic is a Ontario, Canada based company that specializes in groundwater modeling software, training, and consulting services.  The selection of Synergy Environmental as a training center highlight’s Synergy’s expertise in groundwater contaminant fate and transport modeling expertise.

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EPA Enforcement In The Coming Years

Breazeale Sachse & Wilson LLP
John B. King

April 11, 2018

EPA’s enforcement presence has been reduced over the last several years. This trend will continue during the Trump Administration as EPA re-defines its relationship with states and tribes. Even so, EPA has announced an enforcement approach that will maintain it as a formidable enforcer of our environmental laws.

According to EPA’s web-site, EPA’s budget was $10.3B in FY 2010, $8.1B in in FY 2016, and $8.06B in FY 2017. For those same years, EPA’s employee count was 17,218, 14,779, and 15,408, respectively. So, EPA’s budget and employee count were on a downward trend during the Obama years. [1]

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Agencies Agree To Speed Environmental Permitting

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Stacey H. Mitchell, Susan H. Lent, Ian A. Shavitz, Andrew Oelz, Viktoriia A. De Las Casas

April 13, 2018

Effective yesterday, April 10, 2018, seven executive departments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have agreed to cooperate for the timely environmental review and authorization of major infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, roads, and bridges, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) implementing President Trump’s August 2017 “One Federal Decision” Executive Order.

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DEC P Site Program Coming into View

Phillips Lytle LLP
David P. Flynn and Luke Donigan

March 26, 2018

Real estate and other transactions often involve property that has perceived environmental concerns. There can also be parcels that have modest known environmental impacts as well, however they do not make sense for either the New York State Superfund (“Superfund”) or Brownfield Cleanup Program (“BCP”) for any number of reasons. In the past, this has often left parties (buyers, sellers, developers and lenders) in a difficult position, unable to obtain any regulatory comfort for such properties.

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The Superfund Petroleum Exclusion – Alive and Well in the Ninth Circuit

Spencer Fane LLP
John Watson

April 10, 2018

In an unpublished opinion on March 21, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit citing the application of CERCLA’s petroleum exclusion. The Court held that the site investigation at a former gas station did NOT identify anything other than petroleum or fractions thereof. Consequently, the Plaintiff did not plausibly allege any CERCLA “hazardous substances” were present at the site. The case was dismissed.

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For the First Time, U.S. EPA Proposes to Add a Site to the National Priorities List Solely Based on the Risk Posed by Vapor Intrusion

Beveridge & Diamond PC
Jeanine L.G. Grachuk & Augustus E. Winkes

March 8, 2018

The National Priorities List is designed to identify the contaminated sites that pose the highest risk to human health or the environment so that U.S. EPA can focus its efforts on these sites. For the first time, on January 18, 2018, EPA proposed to list a site based solely on the risk to human health from subsurface intrusion to indoor air, also known as vapor intrusion. The site is Rockwell International Wheel & Trim in Grenada, Mississippi. The public comment period on this proposed listing will close on March 19, 2018.

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EPA “Year in Review”

Jenner & Block LLP
Allison A. Torrence

March 5, 2018

On Monday, March 5, 2018, EPA issued a report titled EPA Year in Review 2017-2018. The report contains an introductory letter from Administrator Pruitt, who states that he has been “hard at work enacting President Donald Trump’s agenda during [his] first year as EPA Administrator.” The report highlights accomplishments at EPA over the past year, with a focus on the roll back of regulations from the Obama Administration, such as the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States Rule. Administrator Pruitt stated that “[i]n year one, EPA finalized 22 deregulatory actions, saving Americans more than $1 billion in regulatory costs.”

According to the report, Administrator Scott Pruitt set forth a “back-to-basics agenda” with three objectives:

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Environmental Organizations Granted Right to Appeal NJDEP’s $225 Million NRD Settlement with Exxon Mobil, but Settlement is Upheld

Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP
Daniel Flynn

February 27, 2018

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently affirmed a trial court’s approval, under New Jersey’s Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), of a high profile $225 million settlement between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (Exxon) for natural resource damages (NRD) allegedly caused by Exxon’s operation of refinery facilities in Linden and Bayonne, New Jersey.

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EPA Requests Comment on Regulating Discharges of Pollutants into Groundwater

Manko, Gold, Katcher, Fox, LLP
Jonathan E. Rinde and Zachary J. Koslap

March 1, 2018

MGKF Special Alert

On February 20, EPA requested comment on whether pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater may be subject to Clean Water Act (“CWA”) regulation.  Specifically, EPA seeks comment on whether EPA should consider clarification or revision of previous EPA statements regarding the Agency’s mandate to regulate discharges to surface waters via groundwater under the CWA.

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