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Membrane laid to separate the sand from the gravel in the construction of a sand and gravel filter bed

Ruling Preserves NJDEP Jurisdiction to File Enforcement Action Against Polluters in Municipal Court

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

On November 13, 2019, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a decision that has property owners and real estate developers on edge.  The matter revolved around which courts have jurisdiction to hear enforcement actions brought by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).  Based on the decision, defendants in Spill Compensation and Control… Read More »

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Group of rescuers eliminates consequences of accident, leak of chemical product elimination

New Jersey Appellate Division Clarifies Spill Fund Lien Law & Procedure

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

If you are the owner of a property where an underground storage tank (UST) has leaked, you are responsible for the cleanup.  If you later become the owner of a property where a UST previously leaked, the legal and financial responsibilities resulting from the prior leak are a bit muddier.  The New Jersey Appellate… Read More »

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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CONCEPT

New Jersey Attorney General, DEP File Multiple “Environmental Justice” Lawsuits

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

Underground storage tank (UST) leaks do not only lower your property value; they may also open you or your business to significant liability from property owners and government agencies.  New Jersey’s Attorney General and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently brought six new “environmental justice” lawsuits against alleged polluters across the state.  At… Read More »

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STACKED US QUARTER COINS ON WOODEN TABLE WITH WHITE ILLUSTRATION SHOWS DECREASING OF HOME VALUES / FINANCIAL CONCEPT

Your UST May Be Lowering Your Property Value

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

Underground storage tanks (UST) containing potentially hazardous and environmentally destructive materials are incredibly prevalent across the U.S. There are over half a million active USTs and another two million inactive tanks across the country. More than half a million active and inactive USTs have been associated with leaks releasing these chemicals into the environment…. Read More »

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technician in uniform examining large stainless tank

Changes to New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

In 2009, many New Jersey developers were stuck deep in a backlog of sites to be reviewed by the Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). In response, the New Jersey legislature passed the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), which significantly changed the process of site remediation, including by outsourcing much of NJDEP’s review role to… Read More »

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Hazardous Substances, Chemical Toxicity Information

Be Careful What You Admit To in a Spill Act Case

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

The New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. (the “Spill Act”) allows a landowner who cleans up and removes a hazardous substance, such as a UST spill, to bring a lawsuit for “contribution” against everyone else who contributed to the discharge or who otherwise should be liable for the cost… Read More »

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Firemen are using water to extinguish the fire. Firefighter training

Can I Be Sued if My UST Damages My Neighbor’s Property?

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

Underground storage tanks (USTs) can be an inconvenient hassle to discover on your property. Even when dealt with properly, they can still pose a risk to the environment, to local groundwater, etc., affecting property value. But what if a UST leak extends beyond your property and damages your neighbor’s land? Are you liable for… Read More »

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real estate agent going over deal memo with buyers

Do Property Sellers Have to Disclose a UST?

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

The presence of an underground storage tank (UST) can delay or permanently affect a developer’s plans, and it can pose environmental and even health risks to property inhabitants. Once you buy a property with an abandoned UST, you become responsible for it. A UST can thus significantly impact a real estate deal. Are sellers… Read More »

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old underground storage tank

What to Do if You Find An Underground Storage Tank on Your Work Site

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are over 550,000 underground storage tanks (USTs) that contain hazardous substances such as petroleum. Many USTs are not listed on any federal or state databases, which means you may obtain or begin working on a plot of land only to discover the presence of a UST… Read More »

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Got Tanks? Don’t let them “Tank” your deal: Tips to consider during Environmental Due Diligence

By Hank Lutz and Roger Ferguson |

Over the past several years government regulations regarding remediation of contaminated properties has become increasingly problematic to the closing of Real Property Transactions. May 2019 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) and the Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRP) program. Created to help the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection… Read More »

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