Solvent contamination

We represented a former manufacturer at a site with several owners and operators during the past 50 years with soil and groundwater contamination by TCE, a chlorinated solvent formerly used for degreasing. The primary issues were determining what parties had contributed the contamination over time, and what their allocation of the past and future cleanup costs should be. Sub issues included convincing the current owner/operator as to a reasonable amount of future cleanup expenses, pursuing the major PRP when it filed bankruptcy in New York, and assisting our client with an insurance claim. The matter was concluded with a favorable settlement for the client. In another matter, we successfully represented two manufacturers and international banking entities in litigation (which we initiated) and related matters arising from an agency order, a lengthy investigation, partial remediation, and allocation of future cleanup responsibilities and costs in excess of $12 million concerning groundwater TCE contamination from parts degreasing at a manufacturing facility dating as far back as 1960. The extremely complex matter involved multiple owners and operators, as well as current and former landowners and their insurers, in the area that had been partially subdivided and developed. A related problem involved a regional groundwater contamination problem affecting a municipal water well aquifer, and demands and related litigation by a municipality. A novel settlement was reached with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and various other parties, whereby DEQ agreed to take full responsibility for the future cleanup of the site in exchange for a sum of money primarily funded by historical insurers of other parties. We obtained complete releases for our various clients.

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