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 […]

Limiting Environmental Liability Through Audits

Violations of environmental law, even minor violations, can have devastating impacts on a business. Violations cannot only tarnish the public image of a company, but an enforcement action can also subject the business to significant legal liability.  If a company is the subject of an acquisition, the acquiring entity will require disclosure of past environmental […]

EPA Seeks Comment on Vapor Guidance

EPA is now accepting guidance on vapor intrusion from underground storage tanks.

Environmental Institute 2013

April 6, 2013  Hessian & McKasy attorney Joseph Maternowski will be speaking at the The 9th Annual Environmental Institute on Thursday, April 17, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Environmental Institute, presented by Minnesota Continuing Legal Education and the Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, is Minnesota’s premiere environmental […]

EDR Webinar Focusses on Vapor Intrusion and Environmental Liability

February 26, 2013   On February 12, 2013 environmental law attorney Joseph Maternowski was one of three leading lawyers practicing in the areas of environmental law, litigation and transactional law from around the country who was invited to participate in a webinar sponsored by Environmental Data Resources (EDR) on the emerging topic of vapor intrusion. […]

MPCA Grades Minnesota Businesses “A-“, EPA Grades Out as “C” and “Incomplete”

February 7, 2013  Data on the rates of environmental compliance can be confusing.  State and federal regulators are now using new graphical tools – so-called “Dashboards” – to show compliance rates with environmental laws.     So how are Minnesota’s businesses doing?  Well, it depends on whom you talk to.   The Minnesota Pollution Control […]

In Minnesota, The End of Hazardous Waste Regulation?

Hazardous waste regulation originated in the 1980s. The regulatory scheme is very complicated and compliance can be difficult especially for small businesses who must comply with the hazardous waste rules and regulatory scheme. With the passage of time regulation in Minnesota seems to have lessened. The number of MPCA inspectors covering hazardous waste compliance have been reduced. hazardous waste generators in the metropolitan area may be subject to an increased number of inspections. Despite these trends, companies eta generate hazardous waste should remain vigilant and maintain compliance. Non-compliance can result in inspections, enforcement actions and civil penalties.

“Who Moved My Cheese?” The Mystery of the MPCA’s Disappearing Guidance Solved

November 13, 2012  Several professional colleagues of mine recently noticed that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) Section’s guidance documents had been removed from the MPCA’s website.  See  There was no explanation for the missing documents, so I inquired of Hans Neve of the MPCA’s VIC Program as to the […]

Nov. 8, 2012 Session in Fargo, ND to Focus on Stormwater Controls and Enforcement

Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation – MN and ND November 8, 2012 at 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Best Western, Fargo, ND This event requires registration: North Dakota is experiencing an unprecedented economic boom related to energy. As development occurs and State and local government units expand infrastructure to support this new economic activity, […]

MPCA Third Quarter Enforcement Report

November 5, 2012  On October 22, 2012 the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reported the results of enforcement cases during the third quarter of 2012, the period from from July 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012.  The enforcement results for the third quarter of 2012 are consistent with recent trends in MPCA enforcement.  Although 78 […]