Environmental Law

Concerns about the human health and environmental impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – known as “PFAS” – are increasingly in the headlines and trending on a practically daily basis.  Click here for the basics about PFAS chemicals and the potential adverse human health effects. Last week, an environmental group released a study reporting that 610 sites in 43 states are contaminated with PFAS, with locations ranging from public water systems, military bases, airports, industrial…
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) just announced that it has created a new loan program to provide low-interest financing for the remediation of brownfields sites. The new program, called the Brownfields Loan Program, is designed to put vacant and underutilized sites back to productive use as part of Governor Murphy’s goal of bringing economic growth to underserved communities. The Brownfields Loan Program will provide a bridge loan of up to $5,000,000 to potential…
On March 15, 2019, the EPA issued a final rule that will ban the retail sale of methylene chloride containing products for consumer uses.  Methylene chloride is a solvent that is currently, but not for much longer, commonly found in consumer paint and furniture strippers.  It is sold by hardware stores and home improvement retailers. The EPA’s action is based on the adverse effects to consumers using methylene chloride.  It has been documented that short-term…
Earlier today, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) issued a directive requiring five companies – Solvay, DuPont, Dow DuPont, Chemours and 3M – to provide detailed information on their use of PFAS chemicals and potential modes of discharges such as through wastewater treatment plants, air emissions, and consumer products.  The directive also notifies the companies that the state intends to hold them responsible for PFAS remediation costs. This is yet another move…
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is now requiring all sites entering into a state cleanup program to sample for two of the more popular and well-known “emerging contaminants” – 1,4-dioxane and Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (aka PFAS) – in soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, and, where applicable, biota.  There is currently no requirement to sample soil vapor. NYSDEC is also requiring similar sampling of any soil imported to a site, such…
Whenever estate planning involves the transfer of a business or real estate, environmental issues can be important drivers. Owners and operators of real property are strictly liable for the remediation of any contamination on the property regardless of who caused the contamination. Often families are unaware of the environmental obligations and liabilities associated with their properties and businesses. This is especially the case for long-held family businesses and real estate. Planning requires getting an understanding…
The PFAS family of chemicals continues to be in the spotlight on what seems like an almost daily basis.  Just earlier today was this article, reporting on at least 55 drinking water systems contaminated with PFAS chemicals from Defense Department use of firefighting foam, a common source of PFAS chemicals.   Here is our report last month on recent regulatory actions at the state level, along with some background on the toxicity and prevalence of…
The United States Supreme Court agreed today to consider the issue of whether a Federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”) permit is required for discharges of pollutants from point sources that reach CWA navigable waters through a groundwater conduit. By taking up this case, the Supreme Court will hopefully resolve a current Circuit Court split between the 9th and 4th Circuits, which have both held that discharges of pollutants through groundwater require a CWA permit, and…
Often forgotten in the rush to expand the cannabis industry is the environmental impact of indoor cultivation operations and environmental considerations for the engineering and design of cultivation facilities. This article will briefly address environmental impacts of cannabis cultivation, specifically energy usage, in various states and how cultivators looking to the emerging New Jersey market can better equip themselves for potential regulation similar to what is being seen in other states. Growing cannabis, especially indoors,…