Environmental Law

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Government in Rails-to-Trails Case

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Government in Rails-to-Trails Case

In a case that may have implications on thousands of miles of former railroads that have since been converted to recreational trails, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on March 10, 2014, in favor of the property owner and against the U.S. Government.  In Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust et al. v. United States, 571 U.S._____(2014) , the Supreme…

KDDK Attorneys Participating in Illinois Oil and Gas Association Convention

KDDK environmental law attorneys Jeffrey W. Ahlers and Kent A. Brasseale II are participating in the Illinois Oil & Gas Association (IOGA) 2014 Annual Convention & Trade Show. Both IOGA members, Ahlers is experienced in handling mineral, oil and gas, and environmental litigation matters.  Brasseale, who also holds a chemical engineering degree, routinely handles matters involving environmental law and mineral, oil and gas law. Attending the IOGA…

New Standard for Environmental Due Diligence

Last updated in 2005, the ASTM E 1527 Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (“ESA”) is due for renewal under the eight-year ASTM cycle, and is on schedule to be finalized in the next few months. The new ASTM E 1527 Standard is said to better correlate with the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry Rule published in 2006. Complying with EPA’s All…

Importance of Limited Release in Environmental Coverage Dispute

A recent decision from the Indiana Court of Appeals illustrates the importance of using unambiguous language in release agreements with insurance companies, especially in cases involving coverage for cleanup of environmental contamination. In United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company v. Warsaw Chemical Company, Inc., 49A04-1203-CT-97, the Court reversed a $417,953.00 judgment in favor of Warsaw Chemical Company (“Warsaw”) on its…

Tenants Beware: Follow EPA’s new guidance or succumb to environmental liabilities?

Often overlooked, commercial real estate tenants, like buyers, should undertake environmental assessments before entering leases. Tenants are title holders just like buyers. Thus, they face succumbing to potentially expensive clean-up liabilities far exceeding a real estate tract or lease’s value.  Skipping this pre-lease process can be disastrous. With so many landlords having financially failed over the “Great Recession”, the EPA…

The Pollution Exclusion in Indiana

Indiana insureds seeking coverage for environmental claims have long been the beneficiary of court decisions favoring the insured by holding that pollution exclusions are unenforceable in the State of Indiana.  In the March 2012 State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Flexdar, Inc., 2012 Ind. LEXIS 47 (Ind. 2012) decision, the Indiana Supreme Court, applying a literal analysis of the pollution…