Articles

February 24, 2020

Contaminated Groundwater Shuts Down McClymonds High in Oakland

Source: https://www.nbcbayarea.com/, February 20, 2020
By: Michael Bott and Sean Myers

McClymonds High School will be closed for the rest of the week after the chemical compound trichloroethylene (TCE) was found in groundwater beneath the school, the Oakland Unified School District said Thursday.

According to the district, the compound was not found in the school’s drinking water, but officials temporarily closed the school over concerns the chemical may be impacting air quality. Read more.

February 21, 2020

3M to pay $55M in Michigan PFAS settlement

Source: https://www.mlive.com/, February 20, 2020
By: Garret Ellison

Chemical manufacturer 3M will pay $55 million to help footwear giant Wolverine World Wide cover the cost of extending municipal water to neighborhoods with drinking water contaminated by PFAS chemicals from industrial waste dumping.

The payment was announced late afternoon Thursday, Feb. 20. It comes a day after a federal judge approved a settlement between the state of Michigan, two townships and Wolverine, in which the company agreed to pay $69.5 million toward new municipal water mains. Read more.

February 21, 2020

Judge OKs PFAS contamination settlement with Wolverine shoemaker

Source: Detroit Free Press (MI), February 20, 2020
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com/

A federal judge on Wednesday approved a settlement in the spread of potentially health-harming PFAS compounds surrounding a former Rockford, Michigan, shoe factory.

Shoemaker Wolverine Worldwide didn’t admit liability, but agreed to pay $69.5 million in a consent decree with the state of Michigan and Plainfield and Algoma townships. The proposed settlement, reported as under discussion in December, was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff in the Western District of Michigan. Read more.

February 20, 2020

Judge OKs PFAS contamination settlement with Wolverine shoemaker

Source: https://www.freep.com/, February 19, 2020
By: Darcie Moran

A federal judge on Wednesday approved a settlement in the spread of potentially health-harming PFAS compounds surrounding a former Rockford, Michigan, shoe factory.

Shoemaker Wolverine Worldwide didn’t admit liability, but agreed to pay $69.5 million in a consent decree with the state of Michigan and Plainfield and Algoma townships. The proposed settlement, reported as under discussion in December, was approved by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff in the Western District of Michigan. Read more.

February 19, 2020

EPA orders cleanup of zinc smelter site in DePue, Illinois

Source: https://www.washingtontimes.com/, February 18, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an administrative order to those responsible to clean up contaminated soil at a site near the northern Illinois town of DePue, where a zinc smelter and fertilizer plant was once located, it was announced Tuesday.

The EPA issued the order to TCI Pacific Communications and CBS/Westinghouse, according to the city of DePue. The order requires what the EPA calls “potentially responsible parties” to clean up contaminated soil in a portion of the New Jersey Zinc/Mobil Chemical Corp. site. The 950-acre site is contaminated with elevated levels of zinc, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, and manganese. Read more.

February 19, 2020

Rico mine owner sues to cover cleanup costs

Source: https://the-journal.com/, February 18, 2020
By: Jim Mimiaga

For nearly 10 years, Atlantic Richfield Co. has been cleaning up the Rico-Argentine Mine site along the Dolores River as part of a 2011 Environmental Protection Agency removal order.

Now, Arco seeks more than $63.7 million in cleanup costs from the mine’s previous owners, which it claims is part of NL Industries Inc. Read more.

February 19, 2020

Fuel Spill Clean-Up Continues, Salem Says Drinking Water Safe

Source: https://www.klcc.org/, February 19, 2020
By: Chris M. Lehman

The City of Salem says its drinking water continues to be safe after a truck crash on Sunday resulted in fuel spilling into the North Santiam River.

The river supplies Salem and several smaller towns with drinking water. Harry Esteve of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality said initial testing shows very little of the spilled gasoline has made its way downstream. Read more.

February 19, 2020

Insurers Exclude PFAS Due To Regulatory Uncertainty, Chilling Transactions

Source: Defense Environment Alert, February 18, 2020
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com/

Responding to regulatory uncertainty, insurers have begun excluding coverage for both actual and potential contamination stemming from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a move that is killing transactions and can affect a wide array of industry sectors, according to an attorney who spoke at a recent environmental legal forum.

Alexandra Farmer, a partner with the law firm Kirkland and Ellis, told the American Law Institute-Continuing Legal Education environmental law conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7 that significant regulatory uncertainty as well as litigation risks and the difficulty in remediating sites are prompting uncertainty in transactions related to properties linked to PFAS. Read more.

February 18, 2020

New Mexico delegates demand help to clean contaminated water at military bases

Source: https://www.stripes.com/, February 12, 2020

Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation on Wednesday demanded the U.S. Defense Department help with drinking water cleanup in eastern New Mexico after traces of a cancer-causing pollutant were found in some wells.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich along with U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, saying they were disturbed by the recent findings and expected the agency to take immediate action to protect citizens and the water supply. Read more.

February 18, 2020

Missouri farm awarded $265M after suing chemical company for herbicide drift

Source: https://fox4kc.com/, February 15, 2020

A jury on Saturday awarded $265 million in punitive damages to a southeastern Missouri peach farmer who argued that weedkiller dicamba that had drifted onto his orchards from other farms had severely damaged his trees — an award that could bode well for other farmers suing the chemical’s makers.

The punitive damages awarded to farmer Bill Bader, of Campbell, came a day after the jury awarded him $15 million in actual damages, agreeing with his argument that dicamba had drifted over from other farms and severely damaged Bader Farms, which is one of the largest peach farms in Missouri. Bader’s attorneys argued that his trees likely wouldn’t survive the dicamba exposure, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Read more.