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Federal Environmental Law Archives

How do the terrible Gulf oil spill & two contaminated New York waterways compare?

I'm speaking about the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis that began in late April, of course. Few environmental catastrophes have shocked the nation more than the huge, continuing, unremitting flow of many thousands of gallons per hour of oil for seemingly an interminable period, with no end in sight. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew up more than a month ago now, spewing immeasurable quantities of oil into the Gulf. All efforts to contain it have failed. No longer out in the deep ocean, the spill has now reached Gulf beaches. The Louisiana state bird, the pelican, is found covered with crude. 

EPA lists Gowanus Canal on the National Priorities List

On March 2, 2010, the EPA listed the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn on the National Priorities List (NPL), making it a federal Superfund site. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urged EPA to consider the Gowanus Canal for inclusion on the NPL in December 2008, and EPA proposed listing it on the NPL in April 2009. New York City opposed the listing, claiming it had an "alternative plan" to clean up the Canal that would cost less and take less time. EPA said in its statement announcing the decision that, "The Agency has determined that adding the site to the Superfund list is the best way to clean up the heavily contaminated canal." Indeed, the site's Superfund status will now allow EPA to use federal monies to clean up the site.

The District of Maine cites to the Supreme Court's recent decision in Burlington Northern in an Arranger Liability Case

The District Court for the District of Maine relied on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, No. 07-1601, -U.S.- (U.S. May 4, 2009) ("BNSF"), in denying a motion to dismiss asserting that a CERCLA complaint failed to state a cause of action based on arranger liability. Frontier Communications. Corp. v. Barrett Paving Materials, 631 F.Supp.2d 110 (D. Me. 2009)

The Southern District of New York cites to Burlington Northern in an Apportionment Case.

In a recent decision in In Re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether ("MTBE") Products Liability Litigation ("In re MTBE"), No. 00 MDL 1898, and related case City of New York v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 04 Civ. 3417 (S.D.N.Y. July 14, 2009), the District Court for the Southern District of New York relied on the Supreme Court's recent decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, No. 07-1601, -U.S.- (U.S. May 4, 2009) ("BNSF"), in holding that the defendants have the burden of providing apportionment under the commingling theory of liability in that environmental toxic tort case.

The federal Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit recently denied three environmental groups' motion to intervene in a lawsuit between the District of Columbia ("District") and Potomac Electric Power Company and Pepco Energy Services, Inc. (collectively, "Pepco"

The federal Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit recently denied three environmental groups' motion to intervene in a lawsuit between the District of Columbia ("District") and Potomac Electric Power Company and Pepco Energy Services, Inc. (collectively, "Pepco"), which concerned a consent decree under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA") entered into between the District and Pepco. See District of Columbia v. Potomac Electric Power Co., Civ. No. 11-00282. (D.D.C. Dec. 1, 2011).

The Supreme Court Clarifies the Requirements for "Arranger" Liability and Allocation of Liability in CERCLA Cases - Part III.

Following our recent posts on the Supreme Court's decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, No. 07-1601, -U.S.- (U.S. May 4, 2009) ("BNSF"), this post will discuss the implications of this decision on arranger liability.

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States: The Supreme Court Clarifies the Requirements for "Arranger" Liability and Allocation of Liability in CERCLA Cases - Part II.

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States: The Supreme Court Clarifies the Requirements for "Arranger" Liability and Allocation of Liability in CERCLA Cases - Part II.

The Supreme Court Clarifies the Requirements for "Arranger" Liability and Allocation of Liability in CERCLA Cases - Part I.

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States: The Supreme Court Clarifies the Requirements for "Arranger" Liability and Allocation of Liability in CERCLA Cases - Part I.

The Western District of Washington Leaves a PRP without a Remedy, but Upholds the Broader Policy Objectives of CERCLA.

The Western District of Washington also recently followed the holding from the Aviall case. See Port of Tacoma v. Todd Shipyards Corp., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5884 (W.D.Wa., January 14, 2009). The Port of Tacoma sued Todd Shipyards in a contribution action under CERCLA ยง 113(f) for recovery above an equitable share of costs the Port incurred in remediating the subject Superfund site, which had been used for shipbuilding operations during World War I and World War II, pursuant to a consent decree with the United States. 

The Second Circuit Follows the Supreme Court's Holdings in Atlantic Research and Cooper Industries.

In a recent Second Circuit decision, W.R. Grace & Co. v. Zotos International, No.: 05-cv-2798 (March 4, 2009), the Court followed two recent Supreme Court decisions on the oft-contested issue of when and under what sections of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ("CERCLA") (the "Superfund" statute) a potentially responsible party ("PRP") can recoverits response costs.

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