John R. Jacus represents clients under all major federal and state environmental laws and regulatory programs, including the Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). His practice includes environmental litigation, administrative proceedings and representation in complex business transactions. He is experienced in rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings, permitting, litigation for cost recovery, citizen suits, environmental insurance coverage, and the judicial appeal of adverse agency actions, among other matters.
Mr. Jacus’ environmental practice has emphasized the unique legal and operational requirements applicable to the oil and gas, mining, and other natural resources industries, including new and innovative projects on the public lands. He has been heavily involved in permitting, rulemaking, and enforcement defense proceedings involving air quality regulation of stationary sources in oil and gas exploration, production, gathering, and processing, including the promulgation of emission control requirements and efforts to aggregate numerous minor sources into a single major source permit. He also has substantial transactional due diligence and compliance counseling experience with oil and gas and mining facilities. He has particular expertise in the regulation of special wastes under the RCRA and related state laws, including oil and gas exploration and production wastes, and so-called “Bevill” wastes exempt from RCRA hazardous waste regulation.
Mr. Jacus has represented clients at Superfund and RCRA sites in the Rocky Mountain region and around the country, and negotiated the favorable resolution of many disputes, including multi-party negotiations on administrative orders, alleged stipulated penalties, substantial response cost demands, and complex cost allocations. He is also well-versed in environmental auditing and voluntary disclosure, as well as voluntary cleanup under various state programs. He has represented both developers and lenders in connection with permitting and other environmental issues for different major energy projects in Colorado, including wind power and solar projects. Recent projects have included oil and gas facility air permitting in Indian Country; NEPA review of mining and oil and gas facilities for air quality impacts; and the applicability of proposed NSPS rules for specific oil and gas facilities.
Mr. Jacus has authored numerous articles on subjects ranging from Clean Air Act Developments to the transport of hazardous waste to adoption of corporate environmental policies, in various publications of the ABA, Colorado Bar Association, and Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, among many others. He also served as Editor-in-Chief of Hazardous Waste Strategies Update, a quarterly magazine published by Shepard’s - McGraw Hill, from 1993 to 1997, and as Editorial Assistant for the American Law of Mining, Second Edition.
Mr. Jacus is former Chair of the Environmental Law Section, Colorado Bar Association (1996-1997), and a member of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy & Resources (SEER). Mr. Jacus currently serves as SEER’s liaison to the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and as a trustee of the foundation. He also served on SEER’s Council from 1995 to 1998 and in 2009-2010. He served on the editorial board for “Trends,” SEER’s newsletter from 1998 to 2002. Mr. Jacus was co-chair of SEER’s Annual Conference on Environmental Law (Keystone Conference) from 1993 to 1996, and served as the Environmental Program Chair of the 44th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute in 1998. Mr. Jacus currently is a Vice Chair on SEER’s Air Quality Committee and chairs the Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry’s Energy and Environmental Council. In 2013, he was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Mr. Jacus has been listed in the International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers since 2004 (1st Edition, Who’s Who Legal), was recognized by Chambers USA as a Leader in Their Field in Natural Resources & Environment, has been recognized since 2006 by The Best Lawyers in America, was selected for inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers by Thompson Reuters, and earned an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. In 1997, Mr. Jacus was a recipient of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Silver Hammer Award for his work with the North Boulder Project Team in an effort to avoid CERCLA NPL listing of the Crestview neighborhood.
Mr. Jacus has served in various capacities with governance committees and on boards of various public and private schools in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Jacus is also past Chair of the University of Colorado at Boulder Alumni Association’s Board of Directors (2003-2005) and is a former member of the University of Colorado Foundation’s Board of Trustees (2003-2007).
University of Colorado, J.D., 1984
Stanford University, B.A., 1979
On March 12, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public hearing in Denver, Colorado on the proposed "General Permits and Permits by Rule for the Federal Minor New Source Review Program in Indian Country," which the agency initially released on December 12, 2013, and published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 2546).
Golder Associates Oil & Gas Breakfast Series
On December 11, 2013, the Colorado Department of Public Health (CDPHE) issued its Draft Colorado Greenhouse Gas Inventory – 2013 Update (the GHG Update); a report required every five years. The GHG Update summarizes all of Colorado's GHG emissions and sinks from 1990 to 2030. To generate the GHG Update, CDPHE used the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) model for assigning emission factors and making emission projections.
Please join us for a well-informed and balanced roundtable discussion of the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change for the Rocky Mountain West from three different perspectives, including, Shaun McGrath, Regional Administrator of the EPA, Region 8; Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs, Western Energy Alliance; and Amelia Peterson, Senior Research Associate, Governors' Climate & Forests Task Force, University of Colorado Law School Research Faculty.
The winds of legal, regulatory, and policy responses to climate change are blowing perhaps more than ever before. The consequences for all stakeholders, and particularly those companies operating in the energy sector, are significant.
The Air Pollution Control Division has again revised its P.S. Memo 10-02: "Oil & Gas Atmospheric Condensate Storage Tank Batteries System Reporting Guidance" to make several significant changes regarding reportable air emissions under Air Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 7, § XII.
Colorado Environmental Management Society Fall Conference
ABA RCRA Practice Manual
This manual clearly explains this dynamic law, its background, regulatory structure and procedures, and the implications RCRA has for your client or company. Chapters are written by an impressive roster of environmental lawyers who practice extensively in this area, and the authors offer practical suggestions and guidance to minimize the risk of penalty and to soften the blow when liability cannot be avoided.
Forty-six Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP attorneys have been recognized as 2013 Colorado Super Lawyers or Rising Stars, which is published by Thomson Reuters. The listing will be featured in The Denver Post on March 31 and in the April issues of 5280 Magazine and Colorado Super Lawyers.
At the February 28, 2013 Stakeholder Meeting, the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division (Division) revealed a suite of revisions it is considering to Air Quality Control Commission Regulation No. 7, in the form of significant new and expanded control options for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), and other hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas facilities. The Division anticipates a formal rulemaking process to begin in November, 2013.
On February 22, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping proposal regarding the treatment of excess emissions in state rules from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM). The proposal responds to a petition for rulemaking filed in 2011 by the Sierra Club, and promises to fundamentally alter the way most states, including Colorado and North Dakota, treat SSM events in their State Implementation Plans (SIP). Comments on EPA’s proposal are currently due March 25, 2013.
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institute: Air Quality Issues Affecting Oil, Gas, and Mining Development in the West
Boulder County Bar Association
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has embarked on a significant new rulemaking that promises to have big impacts on oil and gas operations in Colorado. On September 21, 2012, the COGCC rolled out a conceptual outline of potential amendments to the existing COGCC setback rules, and on October 1, the Commission gave the go ahead to begin a rulemaking to amend the setback rules. Proposed rules were published October 15.
ERM Seminar: New Air Rules - Who Needs to Comply and When?
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner John Jacus is serving on the planning committee and as a panel moderator for the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Fall Meeting.
This two-part Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP breakfast briefing series in September and October will focus on the cutting edge of environmental controversy surrounding shale development for oil and gas production, addressing a number of significant developments in the courts and across the country regarding air quality impacts from shale development involving hydrofracturing or "fracking."
Forty-five DGS attorneys were named Best Lawyers® by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in its annual guide recognizing legal excellence.
Twenty-one Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP lawyers have been designated "Super Lawyers" in the 2012 Super Lawyers Business Edition published by Thomson Reuters.
In a 2-1 opinion issued August 7, 2012, in the case of Summit Petroleum Corp v. EPA, No. 10-4572, slip op. (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 2012), the Sixth Circuit appears to have struck a substantial blow to the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency's ("EPA" or "the Agency") approach to single source aggregation under the Clean Air Act ("CAA").
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP partner John Jacus will be speaking at the 24th Annual Rocky Mountain Energy Epicenter August 13-16 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
On April 17, 2012, EPA finalized its heavily anticipated revisions to the NSPS and NESHAP applicable to oil and gas production facilities (i.e., upstream and processing). The final rule revises existing requirements (primarily applicable to gas processing facilities) and also imposes new requirements to address emissions for several processes and pieces of equipment used in the oil and gas industry that have not previously been subject to federal air quality regulation, including (1) well completions at newly hydraulically fractured natural gas wells and at existing wells that are refractured; (2) compressors; (3) pneumatic controllers; and (4) condensate and crude oil storage tanks. As of the date of this update, the final rules have not yet been published in the Federal Register.
In April 2012, EPA issued its final ozone area designations for the 2008 primary eight-hour ozone standard of 0.075 ppm.
Many local communities in Colorado have imposed temporary moratoriums banning hydraulic fracturing until the locality can develop new and revised regulations addressing environmental impacts, including air quality impacts, associated with hydraulic fracturing. For example, the City of Longmont and Boulder County have instituted moratoriums on new oil and gas drilling to provide additional time to develop new and revised oil and gas regulations that will address, at least partly, air emissions from oil and gas operations, including hydraulic fracturing. It is generally accepted in Colorado that localities cannot ban oil and gas operations altogether, but the extent to which localities can regulate environmental impacts associated with oil and gas operations is less certain.
The 2012 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of Corporate/M&A and Natural Resources & Environment. Chambers USA also recognized DGS for its strong Commercial Litigation and Labor & Employment practices.
40 Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP attorneys have been recognized as 2012 Colorado Super Lawyers or Rising Stars, which is published by Thomson Reuters. The listing will be featured in the April issues of 5280 Magazine and Colorado Super Lawyers.
Natural Resources Law Center – Hot Topics Program
State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University School of Law
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP Partner John R. Jacus will be co-speaking at the Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas Production, which is presented by the Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and Texas Tech University School of Law, on January 13th at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, Texas.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP Partner John R. Jacus will be co-speaking on a panel at the 36th Kentucky Mineral Law Conference, which is presented by the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, on October 19th through the 21st at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Kentucky.
Institute for Energy Law – Center for American and International Law - Second Conference on the Law of Shale Plays
This paper examines the typical sources of air pollutants from various items of equipment and activities common to shale gas and oil production, the current and likely future air quality regulations affecting the operation of these sources and activities, and recent regulatory and administrative developments of particular concern to those involved in shale gas and oil development.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announces that 20 lawyers have been designated "Super Lawyers" in the new Super Lawyers Business Edition published by Thomson Reuters. The publication will be sent in September to more than 40,000 in-house counsel, presidents, and CEOs of Fortune 1000 companies.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announces that John R. Jacus will be speaking at the 2nd Conference on the Law of Shale Plays, which is presented by The Institute for Energy Law, on September 7-8th at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Jacus’ discussion will focus on “Air Quality Constraints on Shale Development Activities.”
Thirty-eight DGS attorneys, including nearly half of the firm’s partners, were named Best Lawyers® by publisher Woodward/White, Inc. in its annual guide to legal excellence. The 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America is based on a peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys comment on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers® “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP announces John R. Jacus and Robert W. Lawrence have been named among the International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers. "Since 1996, Who's Who Legal has identified the foremost legal practitioners in 31 areas of business law," according to publisher Law Business Research Ltd. "We feature over 10,000 of the world's leading lawyers in over 100 countries."
On July 1, 2011, the EPA's new Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) imposing air quality permitting requirements for stationary sources in Indian Country was published in the Federal Register. 76 Fed. Reg. 38748, 38770 (July 1, 2011). The FIP includes two New Source Review regulations applicable to the following stationary sources in Indian Country: (1) new and modified minor sources and minor modifications at existing major sources (Minor NSR Rule); and (2) new and modified major sources in portions of Indian Country designated as nonattainment (Nonattainment Major NSR Rule).
The 2011 edition of the Chambers USA ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, and natural resources and environmental law, which consists of the traditional and renewable energy sectors as well as the mining industry. Chambers USA also recognized DGS for its strong general commercial and labor and employment litigation practices.
The EPA is operating on an expedited timetable, requiring applicable industries to begin collecting data on January 1, 2011, and begin submitting the first round of reports to the EPA by March 31, 2012. On November 9, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final regulations requiring the annual reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from qualifying facilities in the upstream oil and natural gas sector, including onshore production.
Renewable & Alternative Energy Seminar
The newly announced, 2011 edition of the Best Lawyers in America ranks Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado-based law practices for corporate governance and compliance law, environmental law, mergers and acquisitions law, natural resources law, oil and gas law and securities law. This year Best Lawyers recognizes 36 DGS attorneys, including 13 who have been named to the list for at least 10 years. Nearly half (46 percent) of DGS partners are recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence, in addition to several attorneys of counsel to the firm. Best Lawyers is a peer-review survey of more than 39,000 in-house counsels and private practice attorneys.
Law Seminars International Energy Development on Public Lands
Western Energy Alliance Presentation
On January 1, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (MRR), 40 CFR Part 98, went into effect, requiring roughly 10,000 facilities from 11 source categories to annually report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. EPA first proposed the MRR in April 2009, and received a substantial number of comments from a wide range of industries subject to reporting under the proposed rule. In the final MRR, published in the October 30, 2009, Federal Register, the EPA did not provide reporting requirements for a number of industry sectors, choosing instead to delay finalizing the reporting requirements for certain sectors in order to further review public comments and perform additional analyses. EPA has since been busy promulgating additional Subparts of the MRR for specific industry sectors, including those recently finalized and discussed below.
The 2010 edition of the Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business today ranked Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, and natural resources and environmental law, which includes the traditional and renewable energy sectors and the mining industry. Chambers also recognized DGS for its strong general commercial and employment litigation practices.
Natural Resources & Environment, The American Bar Association
Western U.S. oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production continue to be the subject of intense regional and national interest, not only as they relate to economic and energy security benefits, but also due to increasing air-related environmental concerns. Chief among such concerns is the emission of criteria and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). This sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and potential ability to impair visibility in national parks and wilderness areas are also of increased interest. Unlike other regions of the country facing air quality challenges, the western United States stands out as a primary source of growing emissions – even as states across the region and the O&G industry itself have moved to control more tightly the many minor sources that typify O&G activities.
Limited Guidance Offered in Applying New Colorado Oil & Gas Rules on Federal Lands
New and Revised General Construction Permits for E&P Condensate and Produced Water Tanks
Club 20 Presentation
John Jacus and Denee DiLuigi discussed the “ACES” bill and the policy implications of the proposed climate change legislation at Club 20’s fall meeting, held September 12 in Grand Junction, Colorado. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute and others participated, with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter providing the keynote address.
On August 31, 2009, the Colorado Office of the State Engineer (SEO) issued proposed Rules and Regulations for the Determination of the Nontributary Nature of Ground Water Produced through Wells in Conjunction with the Mining of Minerals (Proposed Rules).
The 2010 edition of the Best Lawyers in America ranks Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP first in Colorado-based attorneys practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, corporate governance and compliance law, environmental law, natural resources law, oil & gas law and securities law.
Join us for three breakfast briefings examining environmental enforcement issues, including how to successfully navigate inspections during the Obama years, an update on environmental audits and voluntary disclosure, and a discussion of recent changes and developments in air and water quality enforcement.
A little after 7 p.m. eastern time on Friday, June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a highly-controversial and revised version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (“ACES” aka the Waxman-Markey bill), now an almost 1,500 page bill aimed at controlling pollution that is connected to climate change by establishing mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP has been recognized again in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of Environmental, Corporate/M&A, Labor & Employment and Commercial Litigation.
John Jacus served on the Program Committee and will be one of the featured speakers for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's upcoming workshop on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission report.
As expected, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, that the agency would require comprehensive national reporting of emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by major sources in the United States as the agency's first regulatory proposal dealing with climate change and the GHGs that contribute to global warming.
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, with 31 attorneys practicing in 30 fields, ranks first in Colorado in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyers in America for the practice areas of corporate and securities law and commercial litigation as well as energy, environmental, natural resources and oil and gas law. The number of DGS lawyers recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence increased by two, and includes nearly half of the firm’s partners.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Air Pollution Control Division (“APCD”), recently issued an addendum to a technical review document in support of a renewal operating permit that it issued in January 2007 that will be of interest to EHS professionals in the oil and gas industry.
In its 2007 legislative Session, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 1341, legislation substantially changing the composition of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) and charging the Commission to include consideration of environmental, wildlife and public health impacts associated with its decisions.
Davis Graham & Stubbs – with 29 attorneys practicing in 30 fields – ranks first in Colorado-based attorneys listed in the 2008 edition of Best Lawyers in America for the practice areas of commercial litigation, natural resources, environmental law and corporate governance and compliance law. The number of DGS lawyers recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence increased by three, and includes half of the firm’s partners. The book, targeted for in-house counsel, is to be published in December 2007.
On December 17, 2006, Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (“AQCC” or “Commission”) adopted significant revisions to AQCC Regulation No. 7, concerning the control of volatile organic compound (“VOC”) emissions.
Davis Graham & Stubbs partners Laura Riese, John Jacus and John Elofson will be panelists for a national oil and gas industry roundtable in Houston on April 26-27. The conference, “Measuring Return on Environment” will be presented by MetaVu, a business consulting firm in Denver.
The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (the "Commission") is considering revisions to the current upset provision in Section II.E of the Commission's Common Provisions Conditions Regulation (the "Upset Provision"). Under the current version, upset conditions experienced by operators of sources of air pollutants are not considered violations if the Air Pollution Control Division (the "Division") is notified as soon as possible, followed by a written notice explaining the cause of the occurrence and the action being taken to correct the conditions. The Division has drafted a proposed version of the upset provision which limits the circumstances in which operators can claim an upset, and does not allow for an affirmative defense to claims for injunctive relief, or violations of State Implementation Plan (the "SIP") provisions or federally enforceable performance standards.
Twenty-six Davis Graham & Stubbs attorneys practicing in 28 fields will be recognized in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The number of DGS lawyers recognized in the definitive guide to legal excellence increased by five this year, and represents more than 40% of DGS partners overall. DGS ranks first in the number of Colorado-based attorneys listed by the 2007 edition of Best Lawyers in the Commercial Litigation, Natural Resources, Environmental Law, Securities Law and Corporate Governance and Compliance Law practice areas.
Davis Graham & Stubbs lawyers Deborah Friedman and Tom McNamara were recently recognized by Who’s Who Legal as among the leading lawyers worldwide in their respective fields. Ms. Friedman was named in The International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers 2006, and Mr. McNamara was selected for The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators 2006.
23rd Annual Real Estate Symposium
51st Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute
Regulating the transport of hazardous waste is key to any system of comprehensive regulation such as that envisioned by Congress in its passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA’s trademark cradle-to-grave regulatory scheme would not be possible without effective, implementable procedures for tracking hazardous waste during transport from its place of origin to its final destination. Considering how vital this component of RCRA’s regulatory scheme is to the overall success of the program, it perhaps is surprising to note how few regulations EPA has developed that apply to the transport of hazardous waste. Part 263 of Title 40, C.F.R., is quite sparse compared with the voluminous provisions in RCRA’s generator standards or standards for treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities.
The Solid Waste Disposal Act,1 as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA), is best known for its prospective, "cradle-to-grave" regulation of hazardous wastes.
On 10 DECEMBER 2003, the United States Environmental Protedion Agency (EPA) announced that among its priorities for the next three years would be increased enforcement against mineral processing facilities 1. The question naturally arises whether this initiative will subject the industrial minerals sector to increased environmental scrutiny.
Presented to the Natural Resources & Energy Section of the Colorado Bar Association
Colorado Real Estate Journal
The redevelopment of industrial, commercial and residential properties is always a timely issue for the real estate industry, but never more so than now. Even with the slowed market of late, redevelopment is an increasingly attractive alternative that can revitalize neighborhoods, return idle property to profitability, reduce urban sprawl and save the cost of infrastructure development when compared to raw land.
The Colorado Real Estate Journal
Real Estate professionals should be aware of a relatively new basis for premises and product liability and associated hazard abatement expense: mold. Of course, mold is literally nothing "new," and it is ubiquitous in the outdoor environment; however, it is a growing concern for building owners, managers and purchasers as the number and size of mold-related claims and judgments has grown significantly in the last few years.
The Colorado Lawyer
The field of Environmental Law has been known for sometime as long on acronyms and legalese, but short on clear and simple steps to achieve compliance with legal requirements. This reputation has been earned in large measure due to a complex array of overlapping and sometimes inconsistent legal requirements under state and federal laws that often address a single class of chemicals or a single environmental medium – water, air or waste. The formidable challenge of navigating such requirements is then magnified by the stiff penalties and other sanctions imposed for non-compliance that is discovered by or disclosed to regulators.
Colorado Real Estate Journal
A recent Internal Revenue Service memorandum further clarifies that certain environmental remediation costs can be fully deducted in the year incurred.
The Daily Journal
Although the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 9601-75 (1994), became law almost 20 years ago, parties still are litigating at considerable cost to clarify the meaning of its provisions. This judicial process increases in complexity as a result of the frequent pronouncement of administrative reforms by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the continuing debate over CERCLA’s draconian liability scheme and high costs, and the inability of Congress to re-authorize and amend the statute in the middle of such controversy.
In the past couple of years, a number of important decisions have been written which will significantly affect future interpretation and enforcement of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ('CERCLA' or 'Superfund') in the United States. Although enacted almost 20 years ago, it has taken the courts a considerable amount of time and costly litigation to develop a basic understanding of this controversial environmental statute.
The Colorado Journal, May 26, 1999
In April, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens signed into law Senate Bill 70, which effectively reaffirmed and reauthorized the state's controversial Environmental Audit Privilege Law, with one significant change. Unlike SB139, the original legislation passed in 1994, SB70 has no "sunset" provision. The original legislation was to sunset after five years, this July.