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Legal Alert: Clearer USEPA Guidance for Commercial and Industrial Tenants for Protection from Pre-existing Contamination Liability

On December 5, 2012, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued revised guidance to memorialize its position that commercial and industrial tenants can protect themselves from contamination liability under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or commonly referred to as Superfund) by relying on an “all appropriate inquiry” of the ownership and uses of the property, timely performed by the landlord, or by timely performing the all appropriate inquiry themselves. EPA’s prior guidance did not indicate these statutory defenses were available to tenants. 

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U.S. EPA Grants Funding for Brownfield Environmental Assessments and UST Investigations

To anyone planning soon to proceed with a brownfield environmental site assessment or an underground storage tank (UST) environmental site investigation in Hamilton County, Ohio this Legal Alert will be of interest.   

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New Surface Water Requirements for Construction Sites

On December 1, 2009, U.S. EPA adopted new rules which establish the first national standards for the control of pollutants (sediment, turbidity and nutrients) discharged via stormwater from construction sites to surface waters.

U.S. EPA’s new rules will impact residential and commercial construction and development companies, as well as those entities involved in highway, street and bridge construction.  These entities are already required to obtain a stormwater discharge permit (usually from a state agency, but sometimes from U.S. EPA) and to employ certain control measures to manage stormwater discharges to surface water.

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CONTACT: Jill A. Weller

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