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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

U.S. EPA Adds Vapor Intrusion to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System, But Will It Last?

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the rulemaking to add Subsurface Intrusion (i.e., vapor intrusion and contaminated groundwater intrusion) to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System on Dec. 7, 2016. EPA issued a statement that it does not intend to systematically re-evaluate previously scored sites, but there is nothing to preclude the re-scoring of such sites … Continue Reading

EPA’s Environmental Justice 2020 Agenda Reflects the “Flint Effect”

EPA released its Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda on Oct. 27. The Agenda details EPA’s strategic plan for 2016-2020 to further implement and integrate “environmental justice” considerations into all of EPA’s programs. Much of EPA’s proposed Agenda appears tailored to respond to the recent drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich. The regulated community should take … Continue Reading

Ohio Remains Undeveloped: The Gutting of Clean Ohio Brownfields Grants

A Columbus Dispatch article published on March 3 expressed concerns about the lack of grants for brownfields redevelopment in Ohio. Developers, manufacturers, retail establishments and other commercial entities have struggled over the last few years as the previously available grants for brownfields redevelopment under the Clean Ohio program were purportedly “shifted” to the Jobs Ohio … 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

Changes in Leadership at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Yesterday, Governor Mike Pence announced that Carol Comer will serve as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), effective August 28, 2015. She is currently the Chief of Staff to the current IDEM Commissioner Tom Easterly, who announced earlier this summer that he would retire. Before becoming Chief of Staff, she served at … Continue Reading

NIST Releases Guide for Manufacturers and Utilities on Securing Industrial Control Systems from Cyber-Attacks

Manufacturers and utilities that incorporate widely-available, low-cost internet protocol devices into their industrial control systems are at an increased risk for cyber-attacks.  National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is responsible for developing information security standards and guidelines to protect the nation’s critical infrastructures, recently published the Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security, … Continue Reading

Taft Environmental Attorney Bilott Receives Clarence Darrow Award

Congratulations to Rob Bilott for being presented with the Clarence Darrow Award at the plaintiff’s mass tort bar meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 9. This award is nationally regarded as one of the most prestigious and highly coveted awards in the field of trial law. Rob is a partner in Taft’s Environmental and … Continue Reading

Taft Environmental Attorney Jeff Stemerick Quoted in The Indiana Lawyer

Taft environmental attorney Jeff Stemerick was recently quoted in the article “Indiana joins other states challenging EPA regulatory authority,” which appeared in The Indiana Lawyer on Aug. 27. The article discusses a lawsuit filed by Indiana and 11 other states against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, taking the unusual tactic of challenging the federal government’s … Continue Reading

Taft Environmental Attorney Harrell Named to Lawyers’ of Color’s Hot List

Taft pleased to announce that environmental attorney Julian Harrell has been named to Lawyers’ of Color’s Second Annual Hot List, which recognizes early- to mid-career minority attorneys working as in-house counsel, government attorneys and law firm associates and partners. Harrell assists clients in navigating federal and state environmental regulatory schemes, including the Clean Air Act, … Continue Reading

Commercial Real Estate Environmental Due Diligence: Top Three Changes To Watch in 2013

I recently contributed an article to Taft’s Construction Insight March 2013 newsletter. In the article, I discuss how environmental due diligence is changing in the commercial real estate market in 2013. I believe the following are the top three things to watch in this year’s market: Tenants Conducting Environmental Due Diligence to Qualify for Bona … Continue Reading

Clean Ohio Fund Announces Streamlined Process for Brownfields Funding

In March, 2013, the Clean Ohio Council announced a streamlined process for issuing grants and loans from the Clean Ohio Fund.  $15 million is now available.  Applications are being accepted.  The maximum cleanup grant per site has been increased from $1 million to $3 million.  The maximum grant for site investigation is $200,000.  Infrastructure matching … Continue Reading

Post-Closing Diligence When Buying or Selling Contaminated Property

Post-closing diligence is critically important when buying or selling environmentally-contaminated property.  Whenever contaminated property changes hands, one of the first questions asked is who will be responsible for cleaning up the contamination and obtaining closure from the appropriate regulatory agency.  Clients often turn to their lawyers to come up with the appropriate terms and conditions … Continue Reading

Clean Ohio Fund Streamlines Approval Process for Brownfield Projects

The Clean Ohio Fund, which has been one of the more successful state sponsored brownfields redevelopment funding programs in the U.S., is streamlining its process.  The process will create a single brownfield program that combines Clean Ohio’s Revitalization Fund and Assistance Fund, managed through a collaboration of the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Redevelopment, … Continue Reading

Skilled Counsel: Negotiating Purchase and Access Agreements

The importance of working with skilled and knowledgeable lawyers and environmental consultants when buying or selling commercial property and negotiating purchase agreements and access agreements was recently confirmed in a federal district court case from North Carolina entitled Metropolitan Group, Inc. v. Meridian Industries, Inc., case number 3:09-cv-440.[1]  The case demonstrates the pitfalls with asbestos … Continue Reading

Frank Deveau and David Guevara Author a Chapter in Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites

Frank Deveau and I authored the chapter “The Application and Regulation of Institutional Controls in Indiana” in Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites. The book was published in June 2012 by ABA Book Publishing and was sponsored by the ABA’s Environment, Energy, and Resources Section. To learn more about the book or … Continue Reading

Taft Co-Sponsors Seminar “Synergy of Energy: Environmental and Energy Regulations and Their Impact on Economic Development”

Taft will co-sponsor the seminar “Synergy of Energy: Environmental and Energy Regulations and Their Impact on Economic Development” along with the Indiana Manufacturers Association and KERAMIDA to be held on June 6. The seminar features industry leaders and environmental professionals who will review current legal and technical trends in water, air and waste regulation. To … Continue Reading

Taft Environmental Attorneys Frank Deveau and David Guevara Publish Book Titled “Environmental Liability and Insurance Recovery”

Taft environmental attorneys and Environmental Law Insight contributors, Frank Deveau and David Guevara, Ph.D., designed and edited a new book titled Environmental Liability and Insurance Recovery. The book was published in May 2012 by ABA Book Publishing and was sponsored by the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. Environmental law and insurance law demand … Continue Reading

Will We See Federal Legislation Setting a Clean Energy Standard?

A Clean Energy Standard (CES) is a policy that requires covered electricity retailers to supply a specified share of their electricity sales from qualifying clean energy resources.  Under a CES, electric generators would be granted clean energy credits for every megawatthour (MWh) of electricity they produce using qualifying energy sources.  Utilities serving retail customers would … Continue Reading

Ohio EPA’S Encouraging Environmental Excellence Program

In November, 2011, Ohio EPA announced implementation of a new environmental stewardship program for businesses called the Environmental Excellence Program (“E3”).  Ohio EPA is seeking companies that have, through innovation and efficiency, improved Ohio’s environment.  Three levels of recognition are provided under this program: Bronze:  recognizes entities completing environmentally beneficial activities through a certificate issued … Continue Reading

ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 19th Annual Meeting

The American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources held its 19th annual meeting in Indianapolis recently.  The program covered subjects from legal, regulatory, policy and highly technical perspectives.  Fracking, smart growth, and environmental project management were among the topics available at the technical roundtable lunch.  I selected the new contaminated sediment site paradigm, … Continue Reading

Will ASTM E1527-05 Save You From A Malpractice Claim?

Can a court find that an environmental consultant engaged in malpractice for failing to conduct a proper Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (“Phase I ESA”) even if the consultant’s report complies with ASTM standards? The answer depends on several factors. I invite you to read my recent blog post on for further explanation on these factors.… Continue Reading