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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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 has changed environmental and real estate due diligence practice. Concerns about vapor intrusion have had ripple effects in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota.
The MPCA is seeking public input regarding placement of new air monitors in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Assessing Urban Air Quality project starts in January 2018 and runs for two years.
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.
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.
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.