By Patrick D. Joyce, Philip L. Comella, and William R. Schubert

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General, in a February 5, 2014 memorandum, stated that it intends to evaluate how federal and state regulation of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry has protected water resources and managed potential threats. “EPA’s Oversight of Hydraulic Fracturing Impact on

Continue Reading EPA Eyes Potential Impact of Fracking on Water Resources

By Jeryl L. Olson, Philip L. Comella, and William R. Schubert

Over a year ago the Department of the Interior released a draft of a proposed rule governing hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public lands.  We blogged about the details of that version of the proposal upon its unofficial release.

After withdrawing the original draft based on concerns of overregulation
Continue Reading Breaking News: DOI Updates Proposed Rule for Fracking on Public Lands

By Philip L. Comella

Ending, for the time being, a fiercely contested rulemaking in which even the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board weighed in, the Illinois Pollution Control Board on August 23, 2012 issued its Final Rule changing the standards for Clean Construction or Demolition Debris (CCDD) Fill Operations. The heart of the controversy in this rulemaking was whether the Board
Continue Reading No Groundwater Monitoring for Clean Construction and Soil Fill Operations

By Philip L. Comella, Eric E. Boyd, and William R. Schubert

On May 4th, the Bureau of Land Management at the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a proposed rule, published at 77 Fed. Reg. 27691 (May 11, 2012), on hydraulic fracturing activities that would require, among other things, disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations under
Continue Reading DOI Issues Proposed Requirements for Fracking on Public Lands

By Philip L. Comella

Rulemaking procedures underway before the Illinois Pollution Control Board’s (Board) in the First Notice of proposed amendments to Clean Construction or Demolition Debris (CCDD) Fill Operations (35 Ill.Adm.Code 1100) show that battle lines have been drawn over how CCDD will be regulated in the State of Illinois.  One of the key battles taking shape now is
Continue Reading Battle Lines Drawn in Clean Construction and Demolition Debris Rulemaking

By Andrew H. Perellis and William R. Schubert

The Montana Supreme Court recently held that the statute of limitations provided no defense to a defendant even though the plaintiffs had not asserted their nuisance and trespass claims until decades after the initial discovery of contamination.

In Burley v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co., Mont., No. 11-0021 (Feb.
Continue Reading Burley v. BNSF: Montana Supreme Court Rules that Continuing Tort Doctrine Applies to Nuisance and Trespass Claims Involving Groundwater Contamination

By Andrew H. Perellis

Superfund Sites with Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs) may require additional groundwater treatment under a recent guidance document issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 19, 2011. The OSWER directive, Clarification of OSWER’s 1995 Technical Impracticability Waiver Policy, #5355.5-32, instructs Regions to discard the 1995 guidance document that had advised Regions to

Continue Reading U.S. EPA Reverses Course on Technical Impracticability Waivers for Sites with DNAPLs

By Philip L. Comella and Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) just released its Toxicological Review of Trichloroethylene (EPA/635/R-09/011F, September 28, 2011) (Toxicological Review). This publication represents the first time that EPA has classified trichloroethylene (TCE) (CASRN 79-01-6) as a human carcinogen regardless of the route of exposure. TCE had previously been classified
Continue Reading EPA Classifies Trichloroethylene (TCE) as Human Carcinogen