On Friday, April 6, associates of Taylor Research Group (TRG) attended the 11th annual Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review Conference in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Vanderbilt University Law School, the event focused on cutting-edge legal issues in the environmental field.
When Hurricane Harvey battered the Gulf Coast region in August of last year, communities worried about its devastating, lasting impact – from the significant personal loss felt by families to the staggering financial clean-up costs that threatened to overwhelm towns and cities. And, in addition to the loss of human life, flooded homes as well as entire neighborhoods, not to mention the indefinite shuttering of businesses, communities were forced to confront serious environmental concerns in real time as the storm raged in the area that is a well-known hub of the petrochemical industry.
Decorating for the holidays is a time-honored tradition at the White House.
Repositories that Taylor Research Group frequents to conduct historical research, such as the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Library of Congress, hold many photographs that document such décor. From Christmas trees to menorahs, over the years winter holiday ornamentations at the White House have become increasingly grand, public, and inclusive.
Love Canal in New York. The historic Pearl Harbor on Hawaii’s island of Oahu. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. All famous names and all with one thing in common – each was or currently is a designated Superfund site.
A recent article from Thompson Coburn LLP that provided tips for environmental due diligence for buyers in business transactions caught our attention. Why? Conducting research into historical environmental problems is one of our specialties at Taylor Research Group.
There are, of course, some big differences. The affected West Calumet Complex in East Chicago falls within an already designated EPA Superfund site where years before companies “smelted, dealt with or processed lead for decades,” according to CNN. The EPA has since sued several of these Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). But attorneys will now have to determine to what extent governmental agencies share in ongoing remedial efforts.
We blogged about the Flint water crisis when class action lawsuits were filed earlier this year.
Product liability is not necessarily an area of law many people immediately associate with the need for conducting historical research. After all, litigation over an injury involving burns from a hot cup of coffee or an exploding soda bottle doesn’t have much to do with dusty old historical documents. Or does it? What about an injury sustained while operating a piece of machinery that came with an inadequate instruction manual? Or an injury from a household product that had a misleading label? And what about the potential successor liability risks involved when acquiring a company that might have manufactured a defective product?
We’ve been closely tracking litigation related to the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP), which seeks to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and includes state-by-state mandates. Recently, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the plan until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit completes its review.
Last week, citizens of Flint, Michigan filed two class-action lawsuits against Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and other government officials. These follow a declared state of emergency in Flint, a pending investigation from the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Michigan, a declared federal emergency by President Obama, and an emergency order issued from the EPA to the state of Michigan.