Every once in a while, government agencies actually make things easier or more efficient for the general public. In the case of contaminated properties, New York City is helping potential property developers. Recently, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) adopted amendments to the rules addressing the removal of "E"-designations on zoning maps for affected properties.
Major changes are coming to the dry cleaning industry in New York.
In a groundbreaking verdict, a Texas jury has awarded damages to a family for injuries suffered due to air pollution from hydraulic fracturing ("hydrofracking") drilling operations. This verdict follows almost inexorably from the rise in popularity in the past decade of hydrofracking as a means of natural gas production, which was quickly met with legal challenges. Between 2009 and 2013, the civil litigation landscape was flooded with lawsuits alleging toxic tort claims stemming from hydrofracking activities.
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. These revised CAFE standards were jointly designed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), and issued under the motor vehicle program (Title II) of the Clean Air Act ("CAA"). Before this time, the annually-updated CAFE standards did not include a GHG curb, and GHGs were not regulated under any part of the CAA.
We continue with our recent discussion of the Aiken v. General Electric Co. case, No. 505023, __N.Y.S.2d__ (3d Dep't Dec. 4, 2008), discussed in a recent post. There is not much precedent for the Aiken case, as SVI issues are relatively new to the environmental law landscape and have not been litigated much yet.
An intermediate state appeals court, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Third Department (upstate) recently allowed a suit to go forward against GE for injury caused by soil vapor intrusion (SVI) where the contamination that was the source of the SVI was discovered 25 years ago.