Source: http://www.lexology.com, October 7, 2013
By: Ruth S. Kochenderfer and Kate M. Riggs, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
In Lodwick, L.L.C. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., No. 48,312-CA, 2013 WL 5477240 (La. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2013) (applying Louisiana law), the Second Circuit Court of Appeal of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of commercial general liability (CGL) and excess insurers, holding that pollution exclusions barred coverage for pollution liability arising from gas and oil exploration and production activities.
The underlying liability arose when a group of land owners sued oil and gas operators for alleged property damage associated with oil and gas activities, including the operation of oil wells and disposal of oil field waste. In particular, plaintiffs allege that predecessors of the policyholder, Oracle, conducted oil and gas activities from 1978 to 1990 that caused pollution that migrated and damaged soil and groundwater underneath plaintiffs’ property. Id. at *1. The policyholder filed third-party claims seeking indemnification and defense from three CGL and excess liability insurers.1 The trial court granted partial summary judgment against two of the three insurers, agreeing with the policyholder that some of the underlying plaintiffs’ causes of action, such as breach of contract and trespass, could be unrelated to pollution damage, thus triggering the duty to defend and not falling within the scope of a pollution exclusion. Id. at *4. The trial court denied the policyholder’s summary judgment motion as to the third insurer on the basis that the insurer’s “other insurance” clause provided that the third insurer did not owe a defense if another insurer has a duty to defend. Id. at *2.…
Source: http://www.mondaq.com, August 14, 2013
By: Elias Neocleous and Kyriacos Kourtellos, Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC
Directive 2004/35 on Environmental Liability with Regard to the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage  OJ L 143/56 of 21 April 2004 (the “ELD”) establishes a framework of environmental liability based on the “polluter pays” principle, under which anyone causing pollution may be held liable for implementing and paying for any preventive and remediation actions that may be required to deal with the resultant environmental damage.
The ELD defines three categories of environmental damage: namely, damage to protected species and natural habitats, water damage and land damage. While there is separate European legislation in relation to the first two categories (in the form of the 1979 Birds Directive, the 1992 Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive) there is no stand-alone legislation regarding prevention of land contamination. Even so, the likelihood of liability acting as a deterrent against infringements of environmental legislation may increase due to the indirect consolidation of the legislation referred to above.
Member states of the European Union (EU) must designate a competent authority to fulfil the duties provided for in the ELD and ensure that it has the power to require relevant parties to undertake the necessary preventive or remedial measures. The competent authority for Cyprus is the Environmental Authority of the Ministry for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. At first sight the non-government sector appears to have limited scope for involvement in environmental monitoring and sanctions, but in fact the judicial review process may provide a way for individuals and non-government bodies to keep an eye on regulatory action. It appears that environmental liability plans may counter certain environmental damage, for example through the provision of funds for environmental restoration. Nonetheless, the ultimate outcome of such liability plans greatly depends on the effectiveness of national environmental policies.…
Source: The Buffalo News, August 1, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
The owners of a new paper mill in Niagara Falls have taken former owners of their property to court, claiming the former owners are responsible for radioactive contamination found while clearing the site.
Greenpac Mill is demanding $50 million in compensatory damages from National Grid, Occidental Chemical Corp. and Kimberly-Clark Corp. in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.
Greenpac, at 4400 Royal Ave., also demands that the former owners be held liable for 100 percent of Greenpac’s cleanup costs.
The paper company asserts in the lawsuit that it had no inkling radioactive waste was on the site. The just-opened $430 million linerboard mill was constructed after Greenpac demolished three old buildings on the property.
Greenpac entered the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program in 2010, agreeing to follow a work plan the Department of Environmental Conservation approved in exchange for a package of tax credits.
Greenpac removed 135,839 tons of contaminated soil and 67,827 tons of clean soil that could be reused elsewhere, according to a DEC report in June 2012.…