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Environmental Law Attorney Consultations

Joseph Maternowski is a Minnesota environmental attorney in private practice who provides consultations on environmental issues. Attorney Maternowski consults with business owners and attorneys and provides directions as to resolution of issues.

Enforcement Authority of MPCA Affirmed By Court

Consent Decrees, which are settlements of environmental violations, contain enforceable terms. A party who fails to comply with those terms, may face penalties, cost recovery and attorneys fees.

State by MPCA v. Anderson, No. A16-0204, 2017 WL 74369 (Minn. App. Jan 9, 2017) (unpublished) illustrates the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) strong enforcement authority to implement the terms of consent decrees. The case also affirms the MPCA’s authority to recover its costs for emergency cleanup. In Anderson, the State received civil penalties, cleanup costs and attorneys fees of over $1.5 million against two individuals and a corporate entity.

MPCA Enforcement Update – August 2017

As changes affect the US EPA and budget and program priorities are reevaluated, the focus is increasingly on state regulators. In Minnesota the primary agency charged with permitting and enforcing environmental laws is the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The blog contains a report latest on MPCA environmental enforcement actions and discusses MPCA enforcement processes where Administrative Penalty Orders or Stipulation Agreements are typically used to resolve violations.

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 concerning environmental law. Topics covered during the plenary session […]

What Lenders Need To Know About Soil Vapor Intrusion

Lenders who finance property transactions must take care to make sure property that serves as collateral is not impacted by soil vapor.

“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. […]