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Showing 2 posts in Response Action Contractors.

In an opinion and order released last week, the MDL court in In re Gold King Mine Release denied response contractors’ motions to dismiss. No. 1:18-md-02824-WJ, 2019 WL 1282997 (D. N.M. March 20, 2019) (slip opn.). The 2015 Gold King Mine release sent over three million gallons of contaminated wastewater into rivers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. In the wake of the spill, the State of New Mexico, the State of Utah, the Navajo Nation, and multiple individual plaintiffs filed suit against the mine’s owner, the federal government, EPA, and EPA response contractors, Weston Solutions, Inc. and Environmental Restoration, LLCC (the “Response Contractors”). The court’s opinion, which allows the majority of plaintiffs’ CERCLA and tort claims to move forward, comes on the heels of a similar order denying the Federal Government’s motions to dismiss. See In re Gold King Mine Release, No. 1:18-md-02824-WJ, 2019 WL 999016 (D. N.M. Feb. 28, 2019) (slip opn.). Our blog post discussing that earlier opinion and order can be found here.    Read More »

In a decision that should pique the interests of environmental consultants across the country, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri issued an opinion last month in BancorpSouth Bank v. Environmental Operations, Inc.Case No. 4:11CV9 HEA (E.D. Mo. Oct. 11, 2011),allowing a CERCLA claim to survive against several engineering firms hired to handle the remediation of an old landfill slated for a Brownfields redevelopment project.  The complaint alleged that the defendants failed to properly design and construct an engineered cell on the site (which didn’t account for the potential for methane gas to escape the cell), and further failed to adequately screen hazardous materials from the dirt on the site prior to spreading it around as fill material.  These activities, according to the plaintiff, not only constituted malpractice, but also turned the engineering firms into “operators” and/or “arrangers” under CERCLA, subjecting them to strict, joint and several liability for alleged damages in excess of $10 million. Read More »