Source: http://www.constructionrisk.com, August 2017
By: Kent Holland
Where lead-based paint was ingested by a tenant’s child, the tenant sued her landlord for injuries allegedly sustained by the child. The landlord tendered the claim to its commercial general liability (CGL) insurer who, instead of defending the case, filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that the pollution exclusion of the CGL policy barred coverage for the alleged injuries. The Owner held that, although not specifically listed in the pollution definition as a “pollutant,” lead-based paint is, in fact, a “pollutant” within the meaning of the policy. The policy’s pollution exclusion was, therefore, applicable, and the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify the landlord. See Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 298 Ga. 716, 784 S.E.2d 422 (2016).
The terms of the CGL policy required the insurer “to pay those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay as damages because of ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’” … “only if: (1) the ‘bodily injury’ or ‘property damage’ is caused by an ‘occurrence’ that takes place ….” An occurrence is defined as “an accident.” Coverage was subject to exclusions, including the pollution exclusion, which provided that the insurance does not apply to “(1) ‘[b]odily injury’ or ‘property damage’ arising out of the actual, alleged or threatened discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release or escape of ‘pollutants’: (a) [a]t or from any premises, site or location which is or was at any time owned or occupied by, or rented or loaned to, any insured.”…
Source: Ventura County Star (CA), January 7, 2015
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
The owner of a Ventura County disposal plant shut down by a chemical blast in mid-November has sued its insurer, claiming Allied World Assurance Co. must cover damages up to $7 million.
In the suit filed late last month, Santa Clara Waste Water Co. says the Swiss insurer has steadfastly refused to pay claims resulting from an explosion and fire at the plant west of Santa Paula.
Allied World is objecting based on terms of the insurance coverage as well as reservations about the ongoing criminal probe of the company by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, the lawsuit says.
Costs of the cleanup and emergency response exceeded $4.5 million and were described as “ever mounting” in the lawsuit filed Dec. 23.
Also named as a defendant in the suit is 805 Trucking Inc., the Oxnard company that owns the truck that exploded.
The back of the truck exploded about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 18, injuring two workers, requiring treatment of dozens of people for potential exposure and leading to evacuations of nearby homes and businesses. Three Santa Paula firefighters who were sickened during the incident remain off duty.
The insurer is seeking company business records as part of its consideration of the claims, according to the lawsuit. Santa Clara officials say numerous documents were destroyed in a fire that followed the explosion and others were seized the next day by investigators from the District Attorney’s Office.…
Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013
Recently, a large Financial Institution (FI) was forced to pay the USEPA $80,000 in past response costs. These costs were incurred by the USEPA to remove hazardous waste drums at the facility of a defunct borrower. The FI conducted an auction of equipment and inventory, but left behind plating vats, tanks and associated piping full of hazardous wastes and corrosive materials, as well as wastes and chemicals associated with the wastewater treatment plant. The FI also failed to maintain the facility. This resulted in a waterline break that prompted a response by the county environmental agency. The county called in USEPA because of the presence of thousands of gallons of liquid hazardous wastes. The USEPA conducted a removal action and alleged that releases of hazardous substances had occurred due to improper management and storage of hazardous substances during the time the FI controlled the property. As a result, the USEPA deemed the FI to he responsible for the costs.…
Source: Rockhill Environmental/NECC Newsletter
A class action lawsuit was filed by 45 claimants against a waste facility alleging they contributed to off-site contamination next to a waste disposal owned by the facility. The suit alleged the contamination migrated onto the claimants’ properties, contaminating their homes, crops, and livestock. The claim was settled in the high five figures for the waste facility’s defense costs in their Site Specific Pollution Liability Policy.…
Source: http://www.strausnews.com, May 27, 2011
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday released a plan to remove contaminated soil from the site of former lagoons at the Nepera Chemical Company Superfund site in Hamptonburgh.
The 29.3-acre site is a former industrial waste disposal facility. Between 1953 and 1967, lagoons at the site received approximately 50,000 gallons of wastewater per day from the Nepera Chemical plant in Harriman, which made a variety of pharmaceutical and industrial chemicals.
The EPA plans to excavate and dispose of the contaminated soil off-site. It will take about a year to complete and cost approximately $3,025,000.
This plan amends EPA’s 2007 cleanup plan for the site, which called treating the excavated soil on-site to degrade contaminants. The 2007 plan also included treatment of contaminated groundwater at the site, which will not change under the amended plan.
The public can comment on the plan until June 20. The EPA will hold a public meeting on the plan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at Hamptonburgh Town Hall, 18 Bull Rd., Campbell Hall.
“The contaminants in this soil — especially semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds — are harmful to human health, so removing them as quickly as possible must be a priority,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.
The subsurface soil contains semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds, among other contaminants. People could potentially be harmed if they ingest or come into contact with contaminated soil or water. EPA says groundwater samples from nearby residential wells and three public supply wells have not revealed site-related contamination. Additionally, the site is fenced to limit exposure.
The six backfilled lagoons cover about five acres. State inspectors detected leaks from the lagoons in 1958 and 1960, and operations ended in 1967. About 7,000 people live within three miles of the site.
The proposed plan is available on EPA’s Web site: www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/nepera.
It is also available at the Hamptonburgh Town Hall at 18 Bull Road, Campbell Hall.…
Source: The Register-Guard, Eugene, OR
February, 22, 2011
By: Christian Wihtol
A Goshen storage facility says PCB-laced waste from a Eugene recycler forced it to shut down for months
A waste oil storage facility in Goshen has been shut down for months because of contamination with toxic PCBs, and the facility’s operator is suing a Eugene metal recycling yard that it alleges is the source of the hazardous waste.
In its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Eugene, Portland-based Oil Re-Refining Co. — ORRCO — is seeking $5 million plus cleanup costs from Pacific Recycling because of the PCB contamination.
A Pacific Recycling official denied that his company had any liability in the problem.
Separately, Pacific Recycling has been fined by the state Department of Environmental Quality for PCB contamination at its waste metal yard on Cross Street in west Eugene. The company has done substantial cleanup there, including digging up and removing contaminated soil, said Dan Lobato, a DEQ hazardous waste inspector.…
Publication Date 11/06/2010
Source: Kansas City Star (MO)
Nov. 05–State officials will host a meeting Tuesday to discuss the results of sampling of tannery sludge on farms in northwest Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency began an investigation last year after Cameron residents raised concerns about a high number of brain tumors.
During the investigation it was learned that a St. Joseph tannery had been spreading sludge on farm fields in the region that contained chromium for years. The sludge was being used as a fertilizer.
The public meeting will be in the St. Joseph City Hall council chamber on the third floor, 1100 Frederick Ave. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the public will have the opportunity to ask DNR, EPA and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services staff one-on-one questions.
A formal presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information call DNR at 573-751-1010.
To see more of The Kansas City Star, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.kansascity.com.
Copyright (c) 2010, The Kansas City Star, Mo.
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Acknowledgement to XL Environmental
An explosion and fire occurred at an XL insured waste treatment facility due to a fire in an on-site trailer containing waste drums. The drums contained lab-packed chemicals including solvents. Between 30,000 and 40,000 gallons of fire water was generated in fire extinguishing efforts. The fire water was retained on the site due to a storm water system and containment dikes. There was no off-site migration of the fire water.
XL’s environmental technical consultant worked closely with the insured following the incident. The technical consultant assisted the insured with oversight of the cleanup at the facility. Most of the water and spilled chemicals were contained on concrete and asphalt, so there were only minor soil affects. Approximately 20 cubic yards of waste were generated from superficial scraping of soils and the parking lot. Free products were recontainerized, as well as cleaned and decontaminated.
XL paid over $250,000 under the insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy for the emergency response and subsequent cleanup of the insured’s facility.…
Acknowledgement to XL Environmental
A class action lawsuit from 68 claimants was filed against an XL insured waste facility alleging that the insured contributed to contamination (oil residue, biocides, acids, mercury, lead, diesel fuels, metals, radioactive materials and hydrocarbons) at a waste disposal pit owned by the insured. The class action alleged that contamination from the site emanated onto the claimants’ properties, contaminating their homes, crops, livestock and personal property.
XL’s environmental claims counsel worked with the insured to formulate a defense to the allegations and investigate the claims made. XL retained local defense counsel to defend the insured’s interests with respect to the lawsuit filed.
XL’s claims counsel and defense counsel worked collaboratively with the insured through the discovery phase of the litigation. Approximately a year after filing the class action lawsuit, the claimants and their counsel voluntarily dismissed the action for lack of evidence against the insured. XL paid for the insured’s defense counsel fees and costs in the amount of $75,000 under the insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy.…