Archives: Environmental Enforcement

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The Rise of Vapor Intrusion

Thank you to my colleague Jim Ray for his contributions to this post. Jim is a partner in our Environmental & Energy Practice Group. We have all been involved in investigating and remediating sites with soil and groundwater contamination. But another form of contamination has been recently gaining attention—vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion is the migration … Continue Reading

Superfund Reform May Be a Slow Go

As we previously reported, the current administration set out to make Superfund reform a priority. Shortly after taking over as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt convened a task force to provide recommendations for restructuring and streamlining the Superfund cleanup process. Over the summer, Administrator Pruitt endorsed 42 recommendations from the task force. The recommendations included, among … Continue Reading

What Will 2017 Bring For Manufacturers: Environmental, Health & Safety Edition

This post is the last in our three-part series about what manufacturers can expect in 2017. In my humble opinion, we saved the best for last – Environmental, Health & Safety. Citizen Science With increasing awareness of environmental issues and advancing monitoring technologies comes a rise in citizen science. Citizens—be it a single person or … Continue Reading

How Secure is that Government Order? Recent Case Law Says Not Very

Many manufacturers have found themselves in the position of negotiating an order with an environmental agency over environmental conditions at a site. Oftentimes, these orders are the result of extensive negotiations, and they set the regulated entity on a long and detailed path of investigation and/or remediation. The environmental agency issuing the order often wants … Continue Reading

Environmental, Health & Safety – What to Watch in 2016

To round out our series on industry and legal outlooks for 2016, I have compiled some of the many things for manufacturers to be aware of in the Environmental Health & Safety world for 2016. 1. Expansion of CERCLA Liability The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) is always a concern for manufacturers … Continue Reading

DOJ to Increase and Strengthen Criminal Worker Safety Prosecutions

With the new year comes a new focus on increasing criminal prosecutions against employers for worker safety violations.  In the end of December, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a plan to deter workplace safety violations through more stringent criminal prosecution.  Under the new plan, the DOJ will work … Continue Reading

CERCLA Update: Court Reverses Divisibility Ruling

Earlier this year, we reported on a case that seemed to breathe new life into the divisibility defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  Under CERCLA, a party that causes or contributes to contamination, or even just owns contaminated property, can be held liable for the entire cleanup.  In May 2015, … Continue Reading

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and remediation of a release of a hazardous substance.  Typically, we think of a “release” as spilling or dumping on land, or discharging to water.  A … Continue Reading

Does Next Generation Compliance Mean Expanded Enforcement?

EPA is in the process of rolling out Next Generation Compliance, or NextGen, in an effort to make its programs more effective, facilitate compliance, and, ultimately, enhance environmental benefit.  But in many ways, NextGen seems poised to expand enforcement against the regulated community. NextGen consists of five interconnected components: More Effective Regulations and Permits Advanced … Continue Reading

Disclosing Violations to EPA in a Digital Age

Thank you to my colleague Bob Melvin for his contributions to the post below. Bob is a partner in the Environmental & Utilities Practice Group whose practice focuses on representing manufacturers with enforcement, compliance, and permitting issues. Under EPA’s Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental … Continue Reading

Superfund Divisibility Defense Gets New Life

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, is a federal law under which contaminated sites are identified and evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA designates certain sites for cleanup and pursues potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to investigate and remediate those sites. Liability under CERCLA is joint and … Continue Reading

The Manufacturing Law Blog Welcomes New Authors

It is my pleasure to announce that the Manufacturing Law Blog will have two new authors going forward.  With the departure of our friend and colleague, Pam Elkow, Matt and I have asked Megan Baroni and Earl Phillips to join our team.  Both Megan and Earl are members of our firm’s Environmental + Utilities Group, … Continue Reading

When Bad Things Happen at Good Facilities (Hazardous Air Pollutant Edition)

(Many thanks to my colleague and source of all info air related, Brian Freeman, who wrote today’s post.) Malfunctions happen, even at a well-managed facility.  When they happen, they can cause a facility to deviate from emission limits or other standards regarding (among other things) hazardous air pollutants.  Furthermore, through several court rulings and EPA … Continue Reading

Key Provisions In Contracts For Goods/Services

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending our law firm’s 6th Annual Environmental & Energy Issues Summit in Newport, Rhode Island.  Robinson+Cole’s Environmental and Energy Issues Summit brings industry leaders together to discuss topics and regulatory updates relevant to environmental and energy professionals.  This year’s program included subjects such as “Plant Closures, Temporary Employees, … Continue Reading

Responsible Care Qualifies for Liability Protection (Again) under the SAFETY Act

The chemical industry’s Responsible Care Security Code has qualified for five years of continued protection under the SAFETY Act, run by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).  Responsible Care was first recognized by DHS in 2009 as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (“SAFETY”) Act of 2002 and was … Continue Reading

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection – Esty back to Yale, Klee named Commissioner

Last week, Daniel Esty, Commissioner Connecticut of Energy and Environmental Protection announced his resignation to return to Yale University School of forestry, from which he had taken a 3 year leave of absence to join the Malloy administration. Governor Malloy quickly named Robert Klee, Esty’s Chief of Staff, as the new Commissioner.  From the Governor’s … Continue Reading

Year-End Legal Reminders For Manufacturers/Distributors

As we approach the end of 2013, here is a list of legal reminders that we often think about with respect to our manufacturing/distributing clients: Pam (OSHA/Environmental): Resiliency – This will be one of the new watch words in 2014.  It means being prepared for the unexpected, like unusual weather events.  Is your business prepared?  … Continue Reading

Legal Issues To Consider When Purchasing Assets From Another Manufacturer

The decision to purchase the assets of a manufacturer raises a host of legal issues, including labor/employment, environmental, and product liability.  We thought we would do a group post to describe the first things that come to mind for each of us when one of our clients considers such a deal. Nicole:  As a labor … Continue Reading

What’s your on-line (EHS) profile?

Did you know…. your compliance history (and other information about your company or your site) is readily available on USEPA and OSHA’s websites, as well as many state environmental agency websites. Envirofacts, at EPA, has the most information.  Someone can search the “Multisystem”  database, or by various topic searches: air, waste, facility, land, toxics, compliance, … Continue Reading

In Case You Missed It – What’s New at EPA

The Manufacturing Law Blog provides timely commentary on issues of importance to manufacturers and distributors.  Contributors from the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP are corporate compliance and litigation attorney, Jeff White; environmental, health and safety attorney, Pam Elkow;  and labor and employment attorney, Nicole Bernabo. It’s summer, and it’s easy to get behind on reading, … Continue Reading

Gina McCarthy – the New EPA Administrator

The Manufacturing Law Blog provides timely commentary on issues of importance to manufacturers and distributors.  Contributors from the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP are corporate compliance and litigation attorney, Jeff White; environmental, health and safety attorney, Pam Elkow;  and labor and employment attorney, Nicole Bernabo. Here’s a (pretty) short summary on the new EPA Administrator, … Continue Reading
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