March 26, 2020

Virus Rules Let Construction Workers Keep Building Luxury Towers

Source: New York Times Online, March 25, 2020
Posted on:

The laborers, deemed “essential” by New York, work side by side, often sharing portable toilets that rarely have soap or hand sanitizer.

On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where, like most New Yorkers, residents are largely staying home as the city reels from the coronavirus pandemic, construction workers building a luxury condominium tower are being forced to continue working in confined and often unsanitary conditions. Read more.

March 25, 2020

Environmental Considerations: Identifying Risks and Protecting Assets in Turbulent Times

Source:, March 23, 2020

We are all currently experiencing turbulent economic conditions and uncertainties that may last for the foreseeable future. In light of this uncertainty, we remind property owners, lenders, and managers, as well as landlords and tenants, to identify both potential environmental risks and valuable environmental assets associated with a property or tenant.  Identifying these potential liabilities and assets now will ensure that risks can be managed and valuable entitlements can be preserved so as not to negatively affect the value of their assets.  Read more.

March 23, 2020

Pentagon cleanup of toxic ‘forever chemicals’ likely to last decades

Source:, March 22, 2020
By: Rebecca Beitsch

A recent report from the Pentagon says it may take decades to remove toxic “forever chemicals” from the water supply near military bases following a surge in the number of sites with suspected contamination.

The Defense Department now has 651 sites it suspects could be contaminated with PFAS, a class of chemicals used in a number of everyday products and in fire fighting foam used by the military. Read more.

March 20, 2020


Source:, March 19, 2020
By: Chistina Tuser

Recent testing shows the groundwater at Miami Dade College’s North Campus is contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

That water is treated and circulated throughout parts of Miami-Dade County. Despite the test results, the county says its tap water is safe to drink, reported the Miami New Times.

March 19, 2020

EPA fines mining company for failing to control dust at Arizona copper smelter

Source:, March 18, 2020
By: Ian James

Federal environmental regulators have fined the mining company Asarco for failing to do enough to control hazardous dust at its copper smelter in southeastern Arizona.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that Asarco paid $33,000 in penalties. The agency said the company hadn’t complied with a plan to control windblown dust containing lead and other harmful pollutants at its smelter in Hayden, about 95 miles east of Phoenix. Read more.

March 16, 2020

Montana Supreme Court: BNSF Shares Liability For Libby Asbestos Contamination

Source:, March 13, 2020
By: Aaron Bolton

The Montana Supreme Court ruled largely in favor of roughly 1,200 plaintiffs Wednesday that say BNSF railway should be held liable for its part in contaminating Libby with asbestos. But, the court didn’t outline exactly what activities the railway could be held liable for, and to what extent.

The Supreme Court found that federal regulations for railways and hazardous materials did not shield BNSF from some liability for the environmental disaster. The court unanimously ruled that the company must accept some responsibility and not completely point the finger at former vermiculite mine owner WR Grace. The ruling reaffirms a previous decision from the Libby Asbestos Court. Read more.

March 16, 2020

Military sees surge in sites with ‘forever chemical’ contamination

Source:, March 16, 2020
By: Rebecca Beitsch

The military now has at least 651 sites that have been contaminated with cancer-linked “forever chemicals,” a more than 50 percent jump from its last tally.

The information was released Friday in a report from the Department of Defense (DOD), part of a task force designed to help the military remove a class of chemicals known as PFAS from the water supply near numerous military bases. Read more.

March 13, 2020

Lloyd’s Off The Hook At 2nd Circ. For Olin Pollution Deal

Source:, March 12, 2020
By: Mike Curley

The Second Circuit ruled Thursday that Lloyd’s of London does not need to cover Olin Corp. for remediation costs stemming from a 2009 settlement of suits over groundwater contamination from a California plant, saying the settlement agreement’s terms as written preclude excess coverage.

In an order affirming a decision from the Southern District of New York, the panel wrote that despite a section of Olin’s policies with Lloyd’s, referred to as “Condition C,” saying that coverage costs would be taken as a sum, thus putting those costs over the threshold for excess coverage, the settlement agreement makes an exception for the costs for remediating property that was damaged by the pollution. Read more.

March 13, 2020

Hundreds pursue lawsuit against Union Pacific over rail yard contamination, cancer cluster in Houston

Source:, March 13, 2020
By: Erin Douglas

Hundreds of residents are now plaintiffs in a mass case against Union Pacific alleging damages caused by legacy rail yard contamination in a north Houston neighborhood where higher rates of cancer were identified, said two local law firms.

The Gibson Law Firm, of Houston, and the Voss Law Firm, of The Woodlands, are representing about 500 residents as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed to Harris County District Court in February against Union Pacific and its environmental consultants. The lawsuit was initially filed with 91 plaintiffs. Read more.

March 12, 2020

Pentagon Estimates $3 Billion ‘Forever Chemicals’ Cleanup Cost

Source:, March 11, 2020

The cost to clean up a family of toxic “forever chemicals” that have polluted military bases across the country is expected to increase to at least $3 billion, a Defense Department official told House lawmakers today.

The estimate for cleaning up chemicals such as perfluorinated carboxylic acid, or PFAS, used in firefighting foam is expected to grow as the Defense Department continues investigations and designs remedies for groundwater pollution, Maureen Sullivan, deputy assistant secretary of defense for environment, told the House Appropriations Committee. Read more.