October 17, 2017

Cleanup Under Way After Large Oil Spill Off Louisiana Coast

Source: Dow Jones News Service, October 15, 2017
Posted on:

An offshore pipeline fracture that has spilled as much as 9,350 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana appeared to be contained, the company responsible said on Sunday.

LLOG Exploration Company LLC on Thursday morning discovered the spill, which stemmed from a fracture of some of its infrastructure in 4,463 feet of water, 40 miles southeast of Venice, La. The offshore oil producer estimated the spill had released between 7,950 and 9,350 barrels of oil and said it said it would be monitoring the area with authorities to clean up oil where possible.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said no shoreline impacts have been reported, and there were no reports of injuries. It is investigating the cause.

The spill appeared to be one of the largest in the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill, which killed 11 people and released more than 4 million barrels of crude. The BSEE, which regulates offshore oil activity, said it didn’t immediately have data available on where the spill ranked by volume.

U.S. authorities said three sheens of oil visible on the water’s surface Saturday morning during an observation flight dissipated as the weekend went on and there appeared to be no risk to shoreline impact.…

October 13, 2017

Hurricane Season: Understanding Obligations Under Contractors Pollution Insurance

Source:, October 5, 2017
By: Jeff Slivka

Within two weeks, the United States suffered two of the most devastating storms ever to hit American shores. For four days, Hurricane Harvey pelted Houston, Texas and the surrounding area with upwards of 40 inches of rain and 130 mph winds to destroy an estimated 40,000 homes, businesses and infrastructure causing nearly $200 billion in damage.

Just days later, the Islands of the Caribbean and then Florida began to feel the effects of Hurricane Irma, which would ultimately leave more than six million Floridians without power, damage or destroy 90 percent of Key West homes and create extensive flooding in numerous cities like Jacksonville and along the Georgia coastline.

Now comes the hard part—rebuilding midway through an ever-widening hurricane season that could produce as many as seven more hurricane-level storms over the next few months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That’s because even after the water recedes, emergency personnel, builders and residents will still have to deal with a range of issues that could both impede reconstruction efforts and negatively affect the health of millions.…

October 11, 2017

Environmental cleanup underway at Rutkowski Park: Bayonne officials

Source:, October 10, 2017
By: Corey W. McDonald

Honeywell International has begun an environmental remediation project at Richard A. Rutkowski Park as part of the New Jersey’s required cleanup of chromium residue that was used early in the 20th century.

The project began earlier this month and officials this week will begin surveying and identifying areas for clearing of excavation and vegetation.

Honeywell International was ordered in 2003 to clean up a 34-acre site along Jersey City’s western waterfront that was a dumping ground for chromium, a known carcinogen. Two years later chromium was identified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection during an inspection of Rutkowski Park.

The project is expected to conclude by mid-December, and nearly all of the work is occurring along a portion of the Bayonne sewer pipeline in Rutkowski Park, officials said.

Park improvements will include replacement of the asphalt walkway within the work area, removal of overgrown vegetation, and new plantings between West 48th and West 49th streets, officials said.

The work will require the closure of certain sections of the park for a limited period of time, the city said.

Officials said the work area will extend from West 48th Street to West 52nd Street; Honeywell has distributed a letter about the environmental remediation to the residents in the area around the work area and the park.…

October 10, 2017

Bedbug talk to headline Ogdensburg City Council meeting

Source:, October10 , 2017
By: Larry Robinson

Bedbugs will top the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting, an issue that has sparked debate for several weeks now, following an outbreak of the critters at one of the community’s public housing complexes.

Opening the council meeting at 7 p.m. will be a presentation by William Seymour, executive director of the Ogdensburg Housing Authority. He will be accompanied by Patricia Redden-Sargent, chairwoman of the Ogdensburg Housing Authority Board.

The two representatives will address a recent bed bug infestation at Centennial Terrace and Riverview Towers, a high-rise Housing and Urban Development controlled apartment complex on Washington Street.

The issue came to light after residents began complaining publicly that housing authority officials, including Mr. Seymour, are moving too slowly in trying to eradicate the biting pests.…

October 9, 2017

A’s stadium: Environmental questions remain at Peralta site

Source:, October 7, 2017
By: David Debolt

The Oakland A’s are moving forward on a dream to build a new stadium at Peralta Community College headquarters, but they may first have to clear an environmental hurdle that has hovered over the land for years.

A review of county records shows that since 2013, the community college district has failed to act on the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health’s calls to further study a historically toxic site on the proposed stadium land.

The years of failed responses even brought in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, which confirmed it has an investigation into the situation underneath East Eighth Street and Fifth Avenue, district headquarters.

The amount of hazardous materials in the ground is unclear, because the site hasn’t been tested since 2012, but the issue could become a bargaining chip during anticipated land negotiations between the A’s and the deficit-plagued, four-college district.

“Historically around the bay, we’ve found that when there is redevelopment proposed for a property, all parties get very interested in ensuring the site is cleaned up,” Bruce Wolfe, executive officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, said, speaking generally. “In many cases, it drives the cleanup.”…

October 9, 2017

Brick dry cleaner toxic cleanup will last until 2022

Source:, October 6, 2017
By: Amanda Oglesby

A cleanup is underway to remove toxic chemicals that have leached into the soil and water around a commercial plaza that was once home to a dry cleaner.

Cumberland Farms Inc., which owns Country Farms plaza at Drum Point and Adamston roads, said environmental remediation efforts have started and will continue until 2022 at the site, where  a former dry cleaning business  rented a storefront between 1987 and 2008.

“Before it closed, the dry cleaner business was dumping in the rear of the property,” Mayor John G. Ducey said in an email. See the video above for views of the scene.

Drum Point Dry Cleaners is the business connected to the contamination, said a Cumberland Farms official. Its principals could not be reached for comment.

Ducey said he has not been advised of any threats to personal or municipal wells.…

October 9, 2017

Residents sue Arkema over contamination

Source:, October 7, 2017
By: Rebecca Trager

French chemical giant accused of releasing toxic chemicals from US plant in the wake of hurricane Harvey

Local residents near Arkema’s plant in Crosby, US, have joined together to file a combined contamination lawsuit against the French chemical company, after several containers of organic peroxides ruptured and caught fire following flooding from hurricane Harvey.

Lawyers representing individuals who live within seven miles of the facility claim that numerous toxic substances – including volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs), dioxins, furans, heavy metals and cyanide – have been found in soil, surface water and ash samples taken from the area.

October 9, 2017

Ohio EPA Is Requesting Property Owners Take Action at TCE Sites

Source:, September 29, 2017
By: W. Caffey Norman, Kendra S. Sherman, Allen A. Kacenjar Jr. and Karen A. Winters, Squire Patton Boggs

According to Ohio EPA staff, the agency soon will be sending letters to hundreds of sites throughout the state requesting that property owners take action to evaluate known trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination.

For more than a year, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been reviewing records and investigating sites that may be contaminated with TCE. Now, Ohio EPA intends to request that property owners take further action. In a recent meeting with environmental consultants, Ohio EPA announced its intention to send letters informing property owners that “TCE may be a health concern at their property.” In these letters, Ohio EPA plans to ask property owners to “evaluate health risks both on and off their property” and notify Ohio EPA of the property owners’ “plan of action and results” regarding TCE. Ohio EPA has not yet shared the letters with the public, but noted that the letters will be sent “in the coming weeks.” Sites targeted by Ohio EPA include some that have satisfied all of Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program (VAP) no further action criteria. This is significant for site owners and interested parties who believed all environmental issues on their properties have been addressed.…

October 3, 2017

Contractors Should Understand the Different Types of Insurances Available in Construction Contracting

Source:, October 2, 2017
By: David Cook

Insurance is one of the most overlooked yet consequential aspects of construction contracting. Almost every contract involving construction imposes obligations on the parties to obtain insurance, but many do not take the time to understand what they are.

Insurance is perhaps one of the most overlooked yet consequential aspects of construction contracting. Almost every contract involving construction imposes obligations on the parties to obtain insurance, but many do not take the time to understand what they are required to procure  Because insurance is based on the agreement between the insurer and insured, the policy is usually the first place to start. The insurance policies discussed below are based on typical form policy provisions, but contractors and insured should check their specific policy to determine the extent of coverages and exclusions.

October 3, 2017

Managing Environmental Concerns in Commercial Renovations

Source:, September 29, 2017
By: Elizabeth F. Mason, The McLane Law Firm

When the City of Portsmouth recently announced its plans to redevelop the McIntyre Federal Building, which is located on a 2.1-acre parcel in the heart of the city’s historic downtown, it stated upfront that the private developer selected do the job would have to agree to assume the costs and liabilities of cleaning up the hazardous building materials – including asbestos and lead-based paint – known to be present on the site.

Commercial real estate (CRE) developers across New Hampshire are increasingly faced with a similar scenario. As the state’s CRE market continues to tighten, property owners and managers that want to lure tenants with new retail, restaurant and residential amenities are looking to renovate and reuse older buildings rather than build new ones. With this wave of renovation come environmental concerns that, although potentially significant, can be managed through careful planning and attention to federal, state and local requirements.…