In a recent case, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection v. Trainer Custom Chemical, ---- F. Supp. 3rd --- (2016), 2016 WL 4525451, the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that a current owner of contaminated property is not liable under Section 107(a)(1) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) for cleanup costs incurred prior to ownership. Trainer limits current owner liability under CERCLA to only those costs incurred after the owner takes title to the contaminated site.
In our August 10th blog entry, we reported on the New Jersey Appellate Division’s recent decision that policyholders do not share in the insurance allocation of long-tail environmental losses for periods when insurance was not reasonably available in the marketplace.
On August 15th, the Appellate Division permitted the owner of contaminated property to assert a claim under the Environmental Rights Act (“ERA”), N.J.S.A. 2A:35A-1 et seq., to compel prior owners that allegedly discharged hazardous substances to remediate the contamination.
Under New Jersey insurance law, many of the coverage issues arising under comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) policies related to long-tail environmental claims have been resolved, however, allocation issues, what percentage of the loss each carrier and/or the policyholder is responsible for, are hotly disputed.
In a New Jersey Law Journal article this week, Riker Danzig counsel Alexa Richman-La Londe explores the protections provided from New Jersey Spill Act liability for an “innocent purchaser.”
The Toxic Substance Control Act (“TSCA”) was enacted in 1976 to regulate the manufacture and use of potentially harmful chemicals.
In the murky waters of determining liability under the New Jersey Spill Act, New Jersey courts are finding one thing clear - buyers who do not perform adequate pre-acquisition due diligence will not qualify as “innocent purchasers” and, thus, will be responsible for remediating contamination that pre-existed their ownership.
In a recent case, ACP Partnership v. Garwood Borough (Tax Court March 22, 2016), a New Jersey Tax court found that although property was “in use” for tax valuation purposes, the town was required to consider contamination at the property when assessing taxes.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey will soon decide whether private parties who have not incurred any remedial costs may use the Environmental Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:35A-1 et seq., to compel responsible entities to perform environmental cleanups under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. (the “Spill Act”).
The EPA has recently proposed adding a subsurface intrusion component to its evaluation of contaminated sites for inclusion on the National Priorities List (“NPL”).