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Laches to defeat a private party contribution claim under the Spill Act?

In 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that private party contribution claims under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (the “Spill Act”) are not time barred by a statute of limitations. See Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co., 220 N.J. 360 (2015).  Accordingly, private claims for contribution pursuant to the Spill Act Read More

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When Remediation Goes Wrong: Appellate Division Says Remedial Efforts May Constitute Evidence Spoliation

In 18-01 Pollitt Drive, LLC v. Engel, the Appellate Division held that the discard of piping, a sump pit, and concrete flooring during remediation constitutes spoliation of material, physical evidence. Docket No. A-4833-13T3 (App. Div. Oct. 31, 2016).  Spoliation of evidence occurs when a litigant has “hidden, destroyed, or lost relevant evidence and thereby impaired Read More

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A draft settlement is not an executable agreement for parties seeking to settle Natural Resource Damage liability under the Spill Act

The Appellate Division recently handed down its decision in Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al., holding that no enforceable settlement existed between the two parties with respect to Natural Resource Damage (“NRD”) claims associated with fifty-four sites. Under the Spill Act, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) Read More

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New EPA Rule Increases Civil Monetary Penalties in the Name of Inflation

Civil penalties, including those levied by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under statutes such as the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, dramatically increased on August 1, 2016.  Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the “Inflation Improvement Act”), federal agencies are required Read More

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Appellate Division Sheds Light on Procedural Requirements for Certain Environmental Claims

A recent Appellate Division case shed some light on certain procedural requirements for environmental claims. In Bradley v. Kovelesky, et al., Docket No.: A-0423-14T4, the claims before the court pertained to an 8.3 acre property in Middletown Township. Lawrence Carton, deceased June 2007, purchased the property January 2006. Carton set out to build a residence Read More

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The Path(way) to Reinvestigation: MassDEP Revisits Closed TCE Sites

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) recently proposed to reopen closed waste sites based on available data that suggests levels of trichloroethylene (“TCE”) may exceed current United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) toxicity values.  While the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) has not yet proposed a similar endeavor, it is worth following Read More

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U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Army Corps Jurisdictional Determinations as Judicially Reviewable Final Agency Actions

On May 31, 2016, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. that an Army Corps of Engineers jurisdictional determination (“JD”) is a judicially reviewable final agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”). No. 15-290, slip op., 578 U.S. ___ (May 31, 2016). Read More

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Unprecedented Climate Change Case Proceeds in Court

A federal magistrate judge in Eugene, Oregon recently allowed an unprecedented climate change case to proceed in court.  Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call it the “most important lawsuit on the planet right now.” In Kelsey Cascade Rose Juliana; et al. v. the United States of America; et al., Docket No.6:15-cv-1517-TC (D. Or. Apr. 8, Read More

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New York Court of Appeals Considers Navigability of Adirondack Waterway

In Friends of Thayer Lake LLC v. Brown, 2016 NY Slip Op 03647, the issue recently in front of the Court of Appeals of New York was whether a certain Adirondack waterway is navigable-in-fact, a question that determines whether the public has access to the waterway. Plaintiffs own land in a remote area of the Read More

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EPA Announces National Enforcement Initiatives, effective October 1, 2016

On February 18, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its National Enforcement Initiatives for the 2017 to 2019 fiscal years.  Effective October 1, 2016, EPA will keep four current National Enforcement Initiatives, add two new initiatives, and expand on one during the next three years.  Therein, EPA also announced the ending of Read More

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Recent Blog Posts

Terranova vs. General Electric Pension Trust: Clarifying (or complicating) defenses under the Spill Act

On January 4, 2019, the New Jersey Appellate Division handed down a decision in Terranova vs. General Electric Pension Trust, Docket No. A-5699-16T3 (hereinafter, “Terranova”). In Terranova, The New Jersey
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Terranova vs. General Electric Pension Trust: Clarifying (or complicating) defenses under the Spill Act

NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval

On August 2, 2018, New Jersey’s Supreme Court held that a holder of a municipal tax lien may have standing to challenge a local planning board’s approval for a neighboring
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NJ Supreme Court Sees Standing in Tax Lienholders to Challenge Municipal Approval

The Downside to Higher Ground: Appellate Division affirms finding of a townhome owner’s negligence and responsibility for water damage to a below unit caused by a prolonged leaking washing machine hose

On August 1, 2018, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division ruled in favor of plaintiff in the matter captioned Joseph S. D’Elia v. Joyce Campisi and Liberty Mutual
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The Downside to Higher Ground: Appellate Division affirms finding of a townhome owner’s negligence and responsibility for water damage to a below unit caused by a prolonged leaking washing machine hose

United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, et al.583 U.S. ____ (2018)Decided January 22, 2018Since the passing of the Clean Water Act in 1972, the definition of “the waters
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United States Supreme Court Tackles Key Clean Water Act Judicial Review Issue

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

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  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

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