Blog

Enforcement Focus: Supercell Storms Often Lead to Civil Penalties for Construction Contractors

As we head into summer in Minnesota, we all need to be prepared for unpredictable and sudden rainfall, especially “Supercell” thunderstorm events. Unfortunately, for those in the construction industry big rains can easily overwhelm the best engineered stormwater controls. Stormwater flows can quickly move off a construction site into public waters where they can quickly create […]

Radon: What You Can’t See Can Hurt You

With the housing market preparing to pick up this spring and summer, it is important for residential buyers and sellers to understand their rights and obligations regarding radon disclosures. The Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) maintains that 2 in 5 homes in the State have dangerous levels of radon. MDH warns that properties in 78% […]

Minnesota Settles PFC Case Against 3M

The State of Minnesota’s claims for natural resource damages (NRD) resulting from 3M’s past disposal of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) was settled on the eve of trial. 3M has agreed to pay $850 million. Settlement proceeds will be dedicated to addressing impaired water supplies, water sustainability projects and natural resource restoration projects in the East Metro are of the Minneapolis St. Paul area.

Minnesota’s Case Against 3M Moves To Trial

The State of Minnesota’s lawsuit against 3M for natural resource damages gets underway in Minnesota on February 20, 2018. The State claims 3M knew PFCs were harmful and estimates damages at $5 billion. 3M denies the allegations and maintains that PFCs present no harm at the levels obwerved in Minnesota.

State Agency Policymaking Through Guidance: If It Quacks/Walks Like a Duck It’s A …

Agencies use guidance to make policy. Guidance can be developed and implemented quickly. When agencies use guidance instead of the more formal rulemaking process, they risk Court review and a finding that the guidance is an unpromulgated use. One example of Agency guidance is the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Best Management Practices for Vapor Investigation and Building Mitigation Decisions.

Recognized as Best Lawyer in Minnesota – Environmental Law and Litigation – Environmental

Joseph Maternowski, was named Best Lawyer in the fields of Environmental Law and Litigation – Environmental in Minnesota by Best Lawyers® in 2018. Mr. Maternowski, a shareholder at the Hessian & McKasy law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, concentrates his practice on handling the environmental aspects of real estate and commercial transactions with an emphasis on managing the issues […]

Environmental Covenants – They “Run With the Land”

Concerns about soil vapor intrusion on the rise. At properties where active mitigation systems has been installed, state agencies are often requiring that property owners record environmental covenants. Covenants document background vapor conditions and the need for ongoing operation, maintenance and monitoring of mitigation systems. Environmental covenants run with the land and run in perpetuity. Changes can be made but only with the consent of regulatory authorities.

Consultations with In House Counsel

In House Counsel often face challenging environmental issues. Attorney Joseph Maternowski provides assistance as outside enviornmental counsel. In this role he advises on substantive areas of environmental law. He assists in responding agency actions, on transactional matters and in other areas.

Attorney Consultations

Attorneys in private practice often face challenges in addressing environmental issues. Joseph Maternowski serves as Outside Environmental Counsel. In this role he assists attorneys and their clients in resolving environmental issues.

Soil Vapor Poses New Challenges

Soil vapor has changed environmental and real estate due diligence practice. Concerns about vapor intrusion have had ripple effects in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota.