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Category Archives: Cleanup & Superfund

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The View From The Pacific Northwest: What to Watch in Environmental Law and Policy Post-Inauguration, Part 3

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Fish Consumption, Natural Resources and Environment, Regulatory

Note: this is part 3 of 3 in my series of how the new administration may impact environmental law and policy in the Pacific Northwest. For background, please see Part 1 and Part 2. Sediment Cleanup Sites Things are moving quickly with the new administration. Since publishing Part 1 of this series on Monday, the… Continue Reading

The View From The Pacific Northwest: What to Watch in Environmental Law and Policy Post-Inauguration, Part 1

Posted in Clean Air Act, Clean Energy, Cleanup & Superfund, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment, Regulatory

On Friday morning, I boarded a plane in Chicago and by the time I touched down in Seattle, Trump had been sworn into office. We’ve received a number of questions from clients and friends asking us how the regime change will impact environmental law and policy in the Pacific Northwest. The quick answer is one… Continue Reading

Ecology Begins Work on MTCA Model Remedies: What Can Washington Learn From Other Jurisdictions?

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy

In 2013, the Washington Legislature passed SSB 5296, which amended the Model Toxics Control Act in a number of ways. One of those amendments directed Ecology to adopt “model remedies,” defined as “a set of technologies, procedures, and monitoring protocols identified by [Ecology] for use in routine types of clean-up projects at facilities that have… Continue Reading

Breaking: EPA Issues its Record of Decision for the Duwamish River Superfund Site

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Environmental Risk, Fish Consumption, Water Quality

EPA Region 10 just released its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Duwamish River Superfund Site. This is the next step in the cleanup process for the Lower Duwamish River, and documents EPA’s selected remedy for the site. It comes on the heels of EPA’s Proposed Plan for the Duwamish, issued in February 2013.  The… Continue Reading

Guest Post: Maul Foster Alongi Provides an Update and Their Perspective on Ecology’s New Remedial Action Grant Rule

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy, Guest Posts

Note from Doug Steding: This post arose out of a meeting over coffee with James Peale and Jackie Gruber, where we discussed Ecology’s recent Remedial Action Grant rulemaking. James and Jackie highlighted Maul Foster & Alongi, Inc.’s deep experience representing public entities in the pursuit of Remedial Action Grant money. Michael Stringer at Maul Foster was the lead… Continue Reading

Friday (the 13th) Morning Link Roundup: EPA Administrator Snubbing Press, Canada’s Attention Shifts to Coal Exports, Fish Consumption and More from the Wild Fish Conservancy

Posted in Clean Energy, Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Fish Consumption

A quick roundup of some of the articles that caught my eye on Twitter in the past week or so: First, U.S. News‘ Washington Whispers page has a report out on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seemingly snubbing the press after a private event at the National Press Club yesterday where she gave a presentation on… Continue Reading

Breaking: Ash Grove Cement Sues Lone Star Industries–the First of Likely Many Contribution Claims Related to the Duwamish River Superfund Site

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Water Quality

Ash Grove Cement, the owners of a cement manufacturing facility located at the mouth of the Duwamish River immediately south of the West Seattle Bridge, filed suit against Lone Star Industries on Friday in the Western District of Washington, seeking cost recovery and contribution under CERCLA, MTCA and also asserting various related common law claims…. Continue Reading

EPA Region 10 Enforcement Update: Focus on Source Control and the Duwamish Waterway

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Uncategorized

EPA Region 10 released this press release on Monday, summarizing four recent enforcement actions it has taken under the Clean Water Act. There are some commonalities and differences between the four actions that I think are illustrative of Region 10’s enforcement priorities. First, all four of the entities (Ash Grove Cement Company, Waste Management of… Continue Reading

New Changes to the Model Toxics Control Act: Addition of Model Remedies, new Brownfields Options, and new Funding Sources

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Rule Making, Uncategorized

Right at the end of the last legislative session, the State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5296, amending Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act, RCW Chapter 70.105D. These amendments are the first significant amendments to MTCA in a while, and hopefully will encourage redevelopment of brownfields in Washington State. Here are what I’d consider the four… Continue Reading

Fish Consumption Issuing Major Sticking Point in Washington Budget Negotiations

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy, Fish Consumption, Public Health Policy, Rule Making, Water Quality

Erik Smith over at the Washington State Wire just published a great piece on how the fish consumption issue is hanging up budget negotiations in Olympia. This piece, along with Robert McClure’s piece of investigative journalism from a couple months back frame nicely the political component of the fish consumption issue. The current sticking point… Continue Reading

Manufacturers: A New Class of Liability for Cleanup Statutory Schemes?

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy, Uncategorized, Water Quality

Most people familiar with state cleanup laws or the federal counterpart, CERCLA, are familiar with four general classes of liable parties: 1) Owners or operators of contaminated facilities; 2) Past owners or operators of facilities at the time of release or disposal of hazardous substances; 3) Parties that arranged for disposal of hazardous substances at… Continue Reading

Happy Halloween: Feasibility Study for the Duwamish Completed, EPA Sends General Notice Letters

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Environmental Risk

A one-two punch in terms of the Duwamish Superfund site: First, late Halloween night, the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group posted the Final Feasibility Study for the Lower Duwamish. The entire document is available on LDWG’s site. This past Tuesday, EPA and Ecology had a public meeting where they outlined the changes between the draft feasibility… Continue Reading

New Bedford Harbor Superfund: “Eye-Popping” Cost Reopener and Implications for the Duwamish and Portland Harbor

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy

If you missed the update from Robert Sanoff over at Foley Hoag’s Law and the Environment Blog, on the New Bedford cost reopener leading to a $366 million settlement, it is worth the read simply because Mr. Sanoff gets points for incorporating a Godfather line and clip (even if it was the third Godfather movie). In a nutshell, one… Continue Reading

Duwamish River Superfund Update

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy, Environmental Risk, Public Health Policy

I’ve blogged before on various aspects of the Duwamish Superfund site process, which began in 2001 with the lower 5 miles of the Duwamish River being listed as a federal Superfund site. The last decade has seen a massive study of the river and scoping of cleanup options by the Lower Duwamish Waterway Group, (“LDWG”),… Continue Reading

Washington’s Hazardous Substances Tax Upheld by the Washington State Supreme Court

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Energy Policy

Washington’s Supreme Court issued an opinion today upholding the constitutionality of the hazardous substances tax (“HST”) imposed by the voter-approved Model Toxics Control Act. The HST is imposed by MTCA at a rate of seven tenths of one percent on the first in-state possession of any hazardous substance (including gasoline), calculated on the wholesale value… Continue Reading

Washington’s Draft Fish Consumption Guidance V. 2.0: What’s Changed Since October 2011?

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Public Health Policy, Rule Making, Water Quality

Ecology released its second draft of its fish consumption rate technical document last week. This updates the first version of the document released last October, which resulted in over 300 public comments from various interested parties. I’ve blogged on various issues related to fish consumption over the past few years, including some general background available… Continue Reading

Quick hits from the Pacific Northwest: Dams as Greenhouse Gas Sources, Cross-Border Torts, Transboundary CERCLA Trial Coming Up

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Uncategorized

I’ll admit to taking a bit of time to travel with my family the last couple of weeks, so I have a few items that have accumulated in my notes. More to come when I’m back from a weekend of fishing in Canada: First, there is an interesting study out of Washington State University that… Continue Reading

Civil Rights Watch: Is California’s Cap and Trade Program Discriminatory?

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Climate Change, Emerging Policy

Last week, the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment and other environmental groups filed a complaint with EPA’s Office of Civil Rights alleging that California’s cap and trade program is discriminatory because it allows for the purchase of emission credits, essentially allowing emitters of greenhouse gases to avoid emission reductions in low-income areas. The… Continue Reading

Wood Waste at Aquatic Cleanup Sites: Washington’s “Signature” Cleanup?

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Water Quality

Ecology recently released the Supplemental Investigation Report for the Port Angeles Harbor Cleanup. Not surprisingly, the contaminants of concern are the usual suspects associated with decades of industrial activities, including PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and metals. What is more unique about this site is that it represents what may become a hallmark of aquatic… Continue Reading

EPA’s CERCLA Section 104(e) Information Request: What is this?

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund

Many businesses located in or near Superfund sites eventually will receive a Section 104(e) Information Request from EPA. This is particularly true at large aquatic sites such as the Portland Harbor Superfund Site in Oregon, the Lower Duwamish Superfund Site in Seattle, the Fox River in Wisconsin and other sites involving industrial corridors adjacent to… Continue Reading

Update on Ecology Rulemaking Suspension

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Rule Making, Water Quality

My November 18th post had some early details on Governor Gregoire’s suspension of rulemaking for 2011. The Department of Ecology has evaluated its existing rulemaking activities and issued an updated list of rules that will continue in 2011 and rules that will be suspended until 2012. This list is more expansive than the original November… Continue Reading

Ecology Releases Study on Perfluorinated Compounds in Rivers and Lakes in Washington State

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Water Quality

I just finished going through the results of a survey of perfluorinated compounds (“PFCs”) in Washington waters that Ecology released last week. Most people are familiar with PFCs as Teflon, although they form a broader class of compounds that include the active ingredient in Scotchgard and other chemicals. There has been increasing concern regarding the… Continue Reading

EPA Releases Final Remedial Investigation for the Lower Duwamish Superfund Site

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund

Yesterday, EPA released the final draft of the Remedial Investigation (“RI”) for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site. The complete text is available here. The Duwamish Superfund Site consists of the lower five miles of the Duwamish River, which empties near the Seattle waterfront. EPA listed this site in 2000 in response to contamination concerns,… Continue Reading