South Carolina Superfund Site Decision: CERCLA § 107(a) is Not Limited to Voluntary Incurred Response Costs
Civ. No.: 2:14-4252-MBS (District Court of South Carolina, May 8, 2015)
The District Court of South Carolina held that a corporation subject to an EPA unilateral administrative order (UAO) in connection with the Columbia
Nitrogen Superfund site in Charleston, South Carolina, is allowed to seek contribution under CERCLA §113 and not §107. Defendant companies argued that the
corporation was precluded from raising a §107(a) claim against them for past response costs because the response costs are being incurred under a UAO and
are not, therefore, voluntary. But the statutory language of CERCLA §107(a) does not limit the cause of action to voluntarily incurred response.
Circuit Split Reinforced in Split in Methodology for Determining Settlement Cost Contribution, Ameripride Services, Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas, Inc.
No. 12-17245, (9th Cir., April 2, 2015)
In deciding a private settling party’s contribution action for clean up costs incurred at an industrial site in Sacramento, California, the Ninth Circuit
held that a district court has discretion to determine the most equitable method of accounting for settlements between private parties. The court
reinforced a split between the First and Seventh, agreeing with the former that a district court is not required to apply either the proportionate share
approach of the Uniform Comparative Fault Act or the pro tanto approach of the Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act. The court remanded the case to
the district court for further proceedings, holding that the district court erred in failing to determine the extent to which costs were necessary response
costs consistent with the national contingency plan.
Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Approved $1.9 Million in Incentives for a $20 Million Boutique Hotel
Crain’s Detroid Business, May 18, 2015
According to the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, construction of a $20 million 97-room boutique hotel will begin development in the fall. The
property previous was used to manufacture musical instruments, jukeboxes, and radios, and local media had reported bricks falling from the building and
damaging neighboring properties. The project will be financed through the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act, as well as the Michigan Strategic fund, and
federal historic tax credits. The buyer is enthusiastic about the opportunity for the future of Detroit, evidenced by redevelopment projects such as the
U.K. Prime Minister’s Campaign Promises Include Proposed over $1.5 Billion (USD) for Brownfield Regeneration Fund
REMI Network, May 15, 2015
In the pre-election agenda for the United Kingdom Conservative Party exists a proposed $1.55 billion (USD) in funding for brownfield regeneration. The
funding is expected to come from the Right to Buy program, part of a membership organization that advocates for the interests of Britain’s homeowners.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan envisions 95,000 homes on brownfield lands, which local authorities will require to be registered in their respective
jurisdictions. The registration would ensure that the proper planning permission is in place, and would establish a London Land Commission to identify
publically owned brownfield lands that can be used for redevelopment.
Redevelopment of Dow Chemical Brownfield Site: 2.4 Million Square Feet of Industrial Space to be Built On 265 Acres In New Jersey
Business Facilities, May 6, 2015
A 2.4 million square foot redevelopment project is approved on a 265-acre industrial space in Piscataway, New Jersey. The space is a Dow Chemical
brownfield site that Dow Chemical cleaned up from its former use as a plastics manufacturing plant. The project includes sate-of-the-art buildings intended
for distribution and warehousing companies needing to store high-volume products.
U.S. Rep. Esty introduced Bill Supporting Brownfield Restoration Projects
MyRecordingJournal.com, May 21, 2015
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Etsy, D-5th, announced H.R. 202, cited as the “Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2015,” to amend the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend expensing of environmental remediation costs. The bill was announced in Cheshire, Connecticut, where an arts group
will redevelop a former factory site with groundwater contamination into a center for visual in performing arts.
Bill Text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2002/text
Waste Removal Gets a Charge
While most other vehicles have been shifting toward a more electric power source, one vehicle in particular has remained dependent on its utilization of
fossil fuels: the garbage truck. However, this summer 17 garbage trucks will roll through Northern California powered by electricity. The system to be used
by these trucks is from Tesla co-founder Ian Wright and is expected to be 30 percent more efficient than existing generators.
Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s Butoxyethanola Injections
A study of a natural gas well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania displayed that three households had traces of a compound commonly found in Marcellus Shale
drilling fluids, 2-Butoxyethanola. The three homeowners in Bradford County filed a law suit against Chesapeake energy corporation, the drilling company
responsible for the introduction of natural gas and sediments into their well water. The three homeowners settled with the Chesapeake energy corporation,
and as such, the the company bought the three households owned by the plaintiffs. These problematic water quality issues demonstrates some of the commonly
occurring negative impacts of hydraulic fracturing.
Denver's Health Impact Assessment Plan
A neighborhood near downtown Denver is using a tool known as health impact assessment in the drafting of its redevelopment plan in order to encourage more
physical activity as well as environmental sustainability. The advocates for this plan are hoping it will entice more developers to use this tool, which
examines environmental, economic, and social influences on health. The goal is to sculpt a development