Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013
An owner of an apartment complex constructed in 1998 discovered that the apartment was built on previously contaminated property. The historical use of the site included a gas station. Prior to construction of the apartment complex, the Underground Storage Tanks were removed and 22,000 tons of contaminated soil were excavated. A No Further Action letter was received from the State. In 2012, the owner received a letter from the State Department of the Environment (DOE) explaining that the case had been reopened. The re-opener required the owner to hire an environmental consultant to review the details of the past clean-up activities in light of new groundwater and soil vapor regulations. The review was submitted to the DOE who determined additional sampling of the groundwater and soil vapor would he required. DOE required two additional wells to he installed and sampled on a quarterly basis. Total costs to date exceed $93,000.…
Source: Trenton Times, December 11, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
Opponents of the project to convert the former University Medical Center of Princeton hospital site into apartments focused on the potential for soil contamination in testimony and cross-examination last night.
James Peterson, called by the opposition as an environment expert, said he thought the initial studies of environmental conditions were flawed, and said a lot more work remains to be done to verify that there are no hidden problems.
He said there is still time to do a thorough investigation.
“The best time to do this would have been phase one, but it was an option not selected. … It really should be done now,” he said.
The project to convert the former hospital into a 280-unit apartment complex has drawn scrutiny from Princeton Citizens for Sustainable Neighborhoods, which has raised a number of questions about the project.
One resident said she was concerned environmental problems, if there were any, would only be discovered once the demolition has begun.
“If we don’t find out about contamination of the building before its torn down, isn’t that too late,” said the resident, Minnie Craig, who lives a block away from the site.
Residents have opposed the building’s design, the developer’s refusal to build to high environmental standards and the fact that they believe the complex represents a gated community.…
Source: http://www.lexology.com, October 4, 2012
By: Gerard M. Giordano, Cole Schotz Meisel Forman & Leonard PA
New Jersey property buyers need to be aware of liability for existing contamination as a result of failing to do an appropriate environmental investigation prior to purchasing. The recent case State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. Timothy Shea, No. A-4124-10T1 (App. Div. Sept. 28, 2012) illustrates such risks.
In State Farm, Kimberly Rossi owned property on which a leaking underground storage tank (“UST”) was located. She sold the property but retained the obligation to cleanup the contamination from the UST. Shea owned the property adjacent to Rossi and did not perform a pre-purchase environmental inspection despite the fact that there was evidence of an UST on his property.
While investigating the contamination on her property, Rossi discovered a leaking UST located on Shea’s property. State Farm, on behalf of Rossi, and Cumberland Mutual Insurance Company, on behalf of Shea, sued each other seeking to recover cleanup costs.
The trial court found that the contaminant plumes migrating from Shea’s UST and Rossi’s UST were separate and distinct. The court concluded that because Shea did not perform an environmental assessment before acquiring his property he was not an innocent purchaser, which would have absolved him from liability. The court ruled that each party was responsible for the cleanup of their respective contaminant plume.…
Source: Birmingham News, April 19, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
The U.S. Justice Department says current and former owners of an abandoned fuel storage facility in Bessemer failed to comply with state and federal environmental orders issued after petroleum leaked from the facility located near a creek, according to a civil lawsuit.
The Justice Department filed the lawsuit late Tuesday on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management against Bessemer Petroleum Inc., Tri-State Petroleum Products LLC, and Twin States Petroleum Products LLC. Tri-State and Twin States are Mississippi corporations.
Efforts to reach officials with the three companies were unsuccessful Wednesday. The only official with any of the companies who is mentioned by name in the lawsuit, Carl “Jack” Gordon, died last year. He was a state senator from Mississippi and had owned Bessemer Petroleum, according to his online obituary in the ClarionLedger newspaper.
All three companies have at one time since 2000 owned or operated the now abandoned facility or its underground storage tanks, the lawsuit states. Twin States is now the current owner of the facility at 2701 Eighth Ave. North in Bessemer, according to the lawsuit.
The facility is an abandoned bulk fuel distribution and storage facility located on about four acres near Valley Creek. As of January 2010 there were 27 non-operating above-ground storage tanks and another 17,000-gallon above-ground tank at the site, according to the lawsuit. Four underground storage tanks and an oil/water separator were also on site.…
Source: Rockhill Environmental/NECC Newsletter
An industrial cleaning contractor was hired to clean a former petroleum storage tank previously used for backup power purposes. Plastic sheeting and an associated dike were placed around the tank to prevent the runoff of contaminated rinse water. The sheeting and dike were not properly placed around the tank allowing a substantial amount of petroleum impacted wash water to migrate onto an adjacent property. The adjacent property owner filed suit for property damage and remediation costs related to the contaminated wash water.…
Source: http://www.mysuburbanlife.com, March 21, 2012
By: Elizabeth Stoever
Site remediation depends on owners
Since completing construction of his home in the 200 block of Ninth Street in 1956, Alfred Martinez, 89, has lived within sight of what he calls “the most polluted area in St. Charles.”
Once located next to an active railroad, the land between Sixth and 12th streets north of Dean and State streets has been used by several industrial businesses since the late 1800’s. Over the past century, portions of the 336,000 square-foot plot of industrial space were used for dumping and settling lagoons for manufacturing byproducts, according to a study by development advisors S.B. Friedman and Company.
But with the site now vacated, city leaders have been in talks with developers to clean up the land.
Since the site has a long history of multiple manufacturers, “it’s hard to say what businesses were responsible for what,” when it comes to the land’s contamination, said Russell Colby, the city’s planning division manager.
Therefore, taxpayers will likely foot the bill to clean up and remove contaminants from the site. The city has already proposed using tax revenue generated by a possible future housing development to cover the $4.9 million estimated remediation and land preparation costs. That estimated price also includes the cost to demolish buildings used by Applied Composite that were removed from the site about two years ago.
But other than offering developers funding, the city’s involvement with the site’s remediation is limited. The level of remediation required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency depends on the property owners and how they use the site.…
Source: http://www.chron.com, November 25, 2011
By: Mike Morris, Houston Chronicle
Harris County’s pollution control staff were eager last year to move into a new office the county was building in Pasadena. The opening was delayed for more than a month, however, after leaking underground storage tanks were found on the site and had to be cleaned up.
“I think it was just par for the course that the pollution control people would be on a piece of land that had to be (cleaned up),” said a laughing Latrice Babin, the department’s special projects manager.
County officials, tired of such cleanups and the delays that accompany them, are targeting the owners of leaking tanks, saying the companies – not taxpayers – should pay for the environmental repairs.
There are nearly 55,000 underground storage tanks in Texas and more than 7,400 in Harris County. Roughly half have been identified as leaking, though the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports most have been cleaned up.
Many of the tanks hold gasoline or diesel; some hold other hazardous liquids, such as dry cleaning fluid. The average cleancost up for a leaking tank is $85,902, the TCEQ said.…
Acknowledgement to Great American Environmental Division
A pile driving contractor punctured an unknown underground storage tank which resulted in the release of waste oil. The waste oil impacted adjacent soils and forced the job to stop until the materials could be delineated, excavated and properly disposed.…
Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com, March 20, 2008
An Environmental Protection Agency appeals board has upheld a $3 million penalty against a Virginia company that owns gas stations in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The Environmental Appeals Board filed a complaint in 2002 against Euclid of Virginia Inc. for violating rules meant to detect and prevent fuel leaks from underground storage tanks.
On March 11, the board in Philadelphia ruled against all appeals filed by Euclid.
The board ordered Euclid to pay a nearly $3.2 million penalty for violations involving 72 underground storage tanks at 23 Lowest Price gas stations.
The violations involved 14 gas stations in Maryland, seven in the District of Columbia, and two in Virginia, in Chantilly and Ruckersville.
The board ruled that Euclid failed to maintain required leak detection and control equipment; failed to perform required leak detection activities; failed to comply with corrosion-prevention standards and conduct cathodic protection testing; failed to properly install or maintain equipment to prevent releases of gasoline due to the overfilling of tanks or other spills when tanks are being filled; and failed to maintain required financial assurances.
Euclid has the right to appeal the decision to the federal circuit court.…
Acknowledgement to Chartis Insurance
An insured’s manufacturing facility maintained a series of above ground storage tanks. A leak in one of the tanks resulted in a release of a hydrochloric acid vapor cloud. Residents in the immediate vicinity, including a nearby trailer park, were evacuated and several sought medical treatment for alleged respiratory injuries, for which they sought damages.…