EPA updates ‘All Appropriate Inquiries’ environmental diligence standard
On 30 December 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended its ‘All Appropriate Inquiries’ rule, which sets out the standard for environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial property transactions in order to qualify for certain defences to liability under the federal ‘Superfund’ law. The amended rule endorses ASTM standard E1527-13, which incorporates new requirements to report on vapour migration, review agency records and search databases and to distinguish controlled from historical conditions.
Responding to objections that allowing a prior, less time-consuming and costly standard to remain in effect would cause confusion, EPA also announced that in the near future it will propose deleting the prior standard from the rule. Meanwhile, many purchasers and lenders are likely to require their sellers and borrowers to switch to the new standard in light of EPA’s announced intent…
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Aurora Energy decision deems discharges prohibited, leaves open question of permit shield applicability
On 3 September 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in Alaska Community Action on Toxics v Aurora Energy Services LLC.
Scaling back considerably from the October 2012 term, the US Supreme Court issued only a few rulings affecting environmental law during the October 2013 term.