Blog

Environmental Law Practice CLEs Now Available On Demand

MN CLE Webinar series “Environmental Law for Business and Real Estate Lawyers” now available as CLE’s On Demand. Webcasts include: 1) Environmental Law Basics, 2) Due Diligence in Business and Real Estate Transactions, 3) Focus – Soil Vapor Intrusion and 4) Complying With Environmental Laws in the Era of Trump.

MPCA Enforcement Update: Construction Stormwater and Air Quality Violations Top State Concerns

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently announced that in the Second Quarter of 2018 it had concluded 52 enforcement cases where the MPCA collected a total of just over $366,000 in civil penalties for alleged violations. The MPCA compiles lists of current and past enforcement action summaries on its website at: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/regulations/quarterly-summary-enforcement-actions . In its […]

California’s Proposition 65: New Notices Required in August 2018

California’s Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Environment Act of 1986, is a broad environmental consumer protection measure that was enacted into law that year by California’s citizens. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings when their products expose Californian consumers to certain chemicals known to cause […]

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.