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BREAKING: Minnesota Law Relieves Businesses of Freeway Landfill Cleanup Liability

New law relieves Minnesota businesses of liability for cleanup of Freeway Landfill. The bill is designed to forestall an EPA cost recovery action and place responsibility for future actions on the owner and operator of the Freeway Landfill and Freeway Dump and the State. If the owner and operator continues to be uncooperative, the MPCA must to step in and will assume all responsibility for the cleanup of both facilities.

Minnesota Environmental Institute – Freeway Landfill, Soil Vapor Concerns and More

On Thursday, April 20, 2017 Hessian & McKasy attorney Joseph Maternowski addressed the 13th Annual Environmental Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Joe Maternowski spoke to over 230 attendees in the morning’s Environmental Institute session and provided the 2017 CERCLA, RCRA and MERLA Case Law and Legislative Update. Topics covered during the plenary session included a review […]

What Lenders Need To Know About Soil Vapor Intrusion

Over the past few years standard environmental due diligence practices have changed. A new issue – the potential for vapor intrusion to impact buildings – must now be addressed in evaluating the environmental condition of real estate. Lenders need to carefully consider their liability and assess risk when financing transactions. A lender who is providing […]

“You’re Hired!” – Who Will Trump Pick to Head the EPA?

One of President-Elect Trump’s many duties as he approaches his January 20, 2017 swearing in is to appoint his Cabinet. President-Elect Trump needs to select the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator, which is a cabinet level post. As head of the EPA the Administrator is responsible for directing federal environmental policy and the enforcement […]

MPCA Third Quarter Enforcement Update

On October 25, 2016 the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (“MPCA”) announced a summary of its third quarter enforcement actions for 2016. In the third quarter of 2016 the MPCA, through enforcement actions, collected $273,840 in civil penalties in amounts ranging from $49,500 to $550. According to the MPCA, the 37 new completed enforcement actions bring […]

MPCA Superfund Expansion: Ten New Superfund Sites to Be Added in 2016

The Minnesota Superfund Program is used to identify, investigate, and ultimately clean up property where a release of the hazardous waste poses what authorities believe is a risk to human health or the environment. The sites controlled under the Minnesota Superfund program range from current dry cleaners to old, decommissioned landfills and other dump sites. […]

Increased Scrutiny on Vapor Intrusion in Minnesota

Over the past decade federal and state authorities have expressed growing concern about the effects of soil vapor intrusion on public health and the environment. Vapor intrusion occurs when chemical vapors seep from an underground source of contamination, through the soil and groundwater, and ultimately migrate through basements, sub-ground spaces or the foundations of buildings. […]

UPDATE: Freeway Landfill Superfund Site

**The EPA has issued a general notice letter and request for information to more than 100 entities. These entities include cities, school districts, private companies, and public companies. The letter is one of the preliminary steps in the EPA’s Superfund process. The purpose of the letter is to assist the EPA in identifying potentially responsible […]

$1.5 Million Penalty and $5 Million Remedy Focuses Attention On Environmental Compliance

On May 12, 2016 federal and state authorities announced a major settlement of an environmental case involving alleged air and water quality violations associated with a Minnesota sugar beet cooperative operation located in Renville, Minnesota. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (“MPCA”) netted a $1 million civil penalty for […]

Steering Clear of Environmental Liability: Contract Drafting is Key

Indemnification clauses, a common element in almost every commercial contract, shift potential costs and liabilities from one contracting party to another. For example, assume that John, who is a musician, enters into a contract with 20th Century Fox Studios to write the theme song for a new movie. As part of the contract, John agrees […]