vapor intrusion

Cal Appeals Ct Revives VI Toxic Tort Case

In the latest installment of the saga involving the infamous Ujima Village Apartment complex that was abandoned because of vapor intrusion from a former petroleum storage facility, a California appeals court ruled in Doris Alexander v. ExxonMobil, 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 768 (Ct. App.-2nd Dist. 9/24/13) that a trial court improperly dismissed a group of …

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Dry Cleaner Settles Foreclosing Lender RCRA Action

We previously discussed the RCRA lawsuit filed by a bank that had foreclosed on a residential property that turned out to be impacted by contamination from an adjacent dry cleaner in Forest Park National Bank v Ditchfield.  The bank had alleged that vapors migrating from the contaminated groundwater and soil constituted an imminent and substantial endangerment …

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NJ Ct. Vacates NJDEP Denial of Innocent Party Grant

During the early years of New Jersey’s remediation program, challenging decisions of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) bordered on Quixotic mission. Times have changed, though, and courts are no longer intimated by NJDEP and we have discussed a number of cases where courts have overruled the agency’s decisions. See dry cleaner case and …

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Landlord Liable For NYSDEC Costs Responding to Vapors at Off-Site Properties

A property owner was found liable under the New York Navigation Law for cleanup costs incurred by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)responding to gasoline fumes that had migrated a quarter of a mile from the gas station. While the vast majority of the state’s costs were associated with the cleanup of …

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NYC OER Issuing Comfort Letters To Facilitate Real Estate Transactions

EPA and some state environmental agencies may occasionally issue “comfort letters” to facilitate a particular brownfield project to assuage concerns of developers or lenders about their potential liability. However, regulators have made it clear that they do not have the resources to review conclusions in phase 1 or phase 2 reports generated during routine real …

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CMBS Special Servicer May Pursue Guarantor Despite Environmental Policy

ORIX Capital Markets, LLC v. Cadlerocks Centennial Drive LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6081 (D. Mass. 1/15/13) involved a relatively small commercial loan but offers lots of lessons for borrowers, their counsel and environmental consultants. In this case, Salomon Brothers Realty Corp. (Solomon) extended a ten-year loan in the amount of $1.925MM to Cadlerocks Centennial …

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Environmental Building Issues Following Hurricane Sandy

NY Building owners are grappling with a number of environmental issues associated with Hurricane Sandy. Following is a summary of the more common issues and regulatory initiatives announced by NYC Department of Buildings and the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to expediate cleanup and recovery efforts. Commercial and Residential Buildings With Flooded Basements/Parking Garages …

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Why the Fuss About VI When We Have Such a Radon Gas Problem?

Ten years ago this month EPA issued is draft Vapor Intrusion Guidance that altered the approach to site remediation. The guidance was issued following a couple of high profile sites where relatively low concentrations of volatile organic compounds in groundwater had apparently impacted indoor air in a large number of residences. These cases suggested the …

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Foreclosing Lender RCRA Action May Proceed

A federal district court  declined to dismiss a RCRA 7002 action brought by a foreclosing lender against the owner of an adjacent dry cleaner in Forest Park National Bank & Trust  v Ditchfield,  2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103007(N.D. Ill. 7/24/12).  The court also granted summary judgment on the bank’s CERCLA cost recovery claim. One reason …

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Vapor Intrusion and Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of limitations (SOL) establish the time period for bringing a cause of action. SOLs are designed to encourage resolution of disputes within a reasonable period of time before facts or evidence is lost through the passage of time, death or disappearance of witness as well as the loss of memory. The SOL will differ …

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