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A Lesson Learned – Important considerations for your commercial real estate due diligence checklist

Two commercial property owners find themselves responsible for decades-old environmental contamination because they failed to conduct proper environmental due diligence before their purchase and they bought short-tail, claims-made insurance policies with a claims-in-process exclusion that did not offer any protection against long-tail environmental claims. Under federal and state environmental laws, people who buy a contaminated … Continue Reading

EPA Announces Final Ecological Effects Test Guidelines (Series 850) Under TSCA, FIFRA and FFDCA

On Dec. 29, 2016, EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) announced the availability of new final test guidelines in Series 850 Group A, pertaining to measuring the Ecological Effects of chemicals on Aquatic and Sediment-dwelling Fauna and Aquatic Microcosms. The new test guidelines include revised standards as well as several name changes … Continue Reading

EPA Removes 72 Pesticide Inert Ingredients from its Approved List

EPA recently identified 72 inert ingredients that it is removing from its approved list for use in pesticide products. While removal of these ingredients from the approved inert ingredient list does not, by itself, restrict their use in a pesticide product, it does change the way a pesticide registration containing such inert ingredients will be … Continue Reading

EPA Committed to Preserving Formaldehyde Focus

On July 27, 2016, the EPA issued the pre-publication version of its Final Rule on Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products. The EPA worked closely with the California Air Resources Board to ensure consistency with CARB’s existing requirements for composite wood products. Under the Final Rule, in August 2017, composite wood products sold, supplied, manufactured … Continue Reading

NPDES Regulations: New Proposed Changes

EPA recently published a wide-ranging series of proposed changes to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) regulations. While EPA does not believe that its proposed revisions will generally result in new or increased workload or information collection by authorized states or the regulated community, regulated entities should familiarize themselves with EPA’s proposed changes to … Continue Reading

EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives Review Process is Underway

EPA recently solicited public comments and recommendations regarding its National Enforcement Initiatives (NEI) for fiscal years 2017–2019. Selected by EPA every three years, the NEI are designed to focus federal enforcement resources on the most important areas of environmental non-compliance. The current NEI for fiscal years 2014–2016 are: Reducing air pollution from the largest sources; … Continue Reading

Taft Hosts Environmental Seminar on Enforcement Liability

Please join us on Nov. 10 for a seminar on how to protect your company from environmental enforcement liability. Taft and SLR International Corporation will share their decades of experience by providing real-world and practical advice on how you can make a difference in avoiding and mitigating environmental enforcement actions. Topics include: How to Avoid … Continue Reading

PUCO’s Report Concludes Arlington Home Explosion Caused by Violation of Gas Pipeline Safety Rules

On July 24, 2015, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s (“Commission”) staff filed a Natural Gas Pipeline Failure Investigation Report (“Report”) regarding a home explosion that occurred on March 21, 2015 in Upper Arlington, Ohio that caused an estimated $9 million in damages to approximately 20 properties and rendered a number of homes uninhabitable. The … Continue Reading

Environmental Due Diligence Needed for Commercial Real Estate

Having a properly conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessment when purchasing or otherwise acquiring commercial real estate can mean the difference between sleeping well at night versus catastrophic financial ruin caused by environmental contamination.  Buyers recently learned a due diligence lesson the hard way for contaminated property they purchased 20 years earlier.  I described what … Continue Reading

Ohio EPA’s Revised Guide to Environmental Permitting in Ohio

Ohio EPA released its revised April 2014 Guide to Environmental Permitting in Ohio. The document addresses those situations where permits are required and guides the reader through a macro analysis of the permitting process. Because the guide does not provide a step-by-step roadmap for each type of permit application, assistance may be required by a … Continue Reading

New Phase I ESA Standard ASTM E-1527-13

Please join us at a luncheon seminar co-sponsored with KERAMIDA on February 4 at the Taft Center. Vicky Keramida, Ph.D. and I will present on the New Phase I ESA Standard ASTM E-1527-13. Learn more about the event here.… Continue Reading

Arsenic: IDEM Announces Use of New Screening Levels

On July 9, 2013, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) announced that it will allow the use of new screening levels for arsenic at sites undergoing investigation or remediation.  IDEM’s levels are derived from United States Environmental Protection Agency’s recent revisions to its direct contact screening levels for arsenic.  The table below provides IDEM’s … Continue Reading

Lead Abatement Regulation for Commercial Buildings Moves Forward

US EPA is evaluating the development of the comprehensive regulations for the renovation and repair of commercial buildings which contain lead-based paint.  These regulations would apply to a variety of construction trades and owners and lessors of commercial buildings subject to renovation, repair or demolition.  US EPA has already promulgated stringent lead abatement rules for … Continue Reading

EPA Releases Peer Review Plans For 2012 Work Plan Chemicals

On August 17, US EPA released for public review and comment its “Peer Review Plans” for risk assessments on the following seven “work plan chemicals” for 2012: Antimony and Antimony Compounds HHCB (1,3,4,6,7,8 – Hexahydro- 4,6,6,7,8,8, -hexamethylcyclopenta[g]-2-benzopyran) Long-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins Medium-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins Methylene Chloride N-Methylpyrrolidone Trichloroethylene According to US EPA, the plans describe the … Continue Reading

Ohio Tackles Shale Exploration and Development

Eastern Ohio is in the midst of a rush of natural resources development which presents both remarkable opportunities and challenges for the State of Ohio and its businesses and residents.  The development of the Marcellus and Utica shale gas, natural gas liquids (“NGL’s”) and oil resources will require the drilling and development of wells, the … Continue Reading

EPA Issues EPCRA Revised Tier II Reporting Rule

USEPA issued revisions to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Tier II inventory reporting requirements.  See Final Rule, 77 Fed.Reg. 41300 (July 13, 2012), effective January 1, 2014.  Under the revised rule issued to implement EPCRA §§ 311-312, those required to report under either Tier I or II must report the facility latitude … Continue Reading

DOT Announces Proposed Rulemaking on Returns of HazMat (“Reverse Logistics”)

Many companies distributing products classified as hazardous materials under DOT regulations at 49 C.F.R. struggle with the tension between providing quality customer service by accepting returns of product with the difficulty in ensuring DOT compliance during transportation of the returned product.  Some distributors use their own vehicles to pick-up returns; others rely on the customer … Continue Reading

Who Should Regulate Fracking?

Fracking is the process of injecting water, sand, and chemicals into deep geological formations at high pressures to create fractures that free the flow of oil or gas.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the states, and even local governments are attempting to regulate hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”), but where do those efforts stand?  … Continue Reading

US EPA Reissues and Replaces 2008 Stormwater Construction General Permit For Five Year Term

On February 16, 2012, US EPA reissued and renewed the expiring 2008 Stormwater Construction General Permit (CGP) for a five-year term.  The new permit covers stormwater discharges from disturbances of one or more acres of land.  EPA states that the CGP is issued to “improve its readability, clarity, and enforceability.”  EPA’s Fact Sheet summarizing the … Continue Reading

US EPA Announces New Plan For Identifying Existing Chemicals For Risk Assessment

On March 1, 2012, US EPA announced that it has finalized a new plan for identifying which existing chemicals should undergo comprehensive risk assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  US EPA also announced that, using this new plan, it has identified  83 existing chemicals for further risk assessment, with 7 of those chemicals … Continue Reading

EPA Prevented From Delaying Rules For Boilers and Incinerators

On January 9, 2012, the District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the EPA’s May 18, 2011 “Delay Notice” that stayed effectiveness of a rule limiting emissions from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and another rule limiting emissions from commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators.  These rules have had a long litigation history.  The … Continue Reading
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