Contaminated Sites

Arnold & Porter offers one of the nation's most experienced teams in addressing every facet of the problems posed by contaminated property, from defending against toxic tort claims, federal Superfund enforcement, and RCRA citizen suit litigation, to navigating the labyrinth of overlapping cleanup authorities, managing the regulatory process, negotiating with federal and state authorities, and conducting brownfields and risk transfer transactions that lead to successful redevelopment. While the strategies we employ at a contaminated site may require complex and often novel solutions, our goals are straightforward: to successfully defend litigation surrounding the site, to arrive at a cost-effective and technically achievable remedy, to mitigate the public and community relations problems likely to be encountered as a result of the site, and to assist the client with site redevelopment.

Brian Israel quoted in Bloomberg Government and InsideEPA on portfolio approach for cleanups.
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Our team wrote the go-to book on legal issues surrounding CERCLA, Superfund Desk Book, 2d Edition published by the Environmental Law Institute.
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Experience Highlights

  • BP as primary environmental counsel related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill since 2010. Serving as core members of BP's virtual legal team, we have acted as lead counsel to the incident investigation team; managed the economic claims process; defended BP in citizen action lawsuits; led the company's Natural Resource Damages (NRD) defense; participated as trial counsel in the Clean Water Act penalty phase; participated in the defense of federal government and foreign state actions; and acted as lead counsel on claims related to federal debarment.
  • Honeywell in successfully defending of a putative toxic tort class action which initially sought medical monitoring and property damage claims related to approximately 135 sites in Jersey City, NJ, allegedly contaminated by chromium.
  • The Mosaic Company in negotiating a complex settlement with EPA and the DOJ, as well as with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, to resolve allegations related to its compliance with the RCRA at its phosphoric acid and ammoniated fertilizer manufacturing facilities in Florida and Louisiana.
  • Honeywell in negotiating with EPA regarding Superfund remediation, obtaining contribution from all other PRPs and coordinating with site developer so that site development is coordinated with remediation.
  • Chemours, as lead environmental counsel, on a range of regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters relating to the presence of PFAS chemicals, including a chemical referred to as GenX, in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina attributable to its client's facility.
  • Whirlpool Corporation in successfully defending class and mass tort actions over TCE contaminated groundwater.
  • BP and ARCO as lead counsel for numerous cases originating on the West Coast involving the gasoline additive MTBE, and served as co-national coordinating counsel in ongoing national MDL proceedings involving MTBE. The proceedings involved nearly one hundred lawsuits and hundreds of parties complaining of groundwater contamination from MTBE.
  • Honeywell in CERCLA remedial investigations at numerous sites in the New York/New Jersey waterways.
  • Atlantic Richfield in the remediation of a nuclear disposal site.
  • Wolverine World Wide Inc. in three federal putative class action tort lawsuits and more than 200 individual personal injury and property damage lawsuits arising from the alleged presence of PFAS in drinking water in the vicinity of Rockford, Michigan.
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