Articles

Attorney Dan Schleck Provides a Summary of Minnesota Grant Programs

Minnesota has a vast number of well funded grant programs at the State and local level that can provide funds for clean-up, redevelopment, demolition, abatement and infrastructure for real estate development projects. These programs are complicated and require experience to be successful.

Attorney Dan Schleck comments on MPCA enforcement efforts against St. Paul Park Refining

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)is stepping up its enforcement efforts for hazardous waste violations and has fined one of the biggest companies in Minnesota. This fine represents the MPCA's renewed efforts at enforcing hazardous waste, stormwater and generally water regulations in Minnesota

New Federal Regulations for Oil Tank Cars are on the Right Track

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new safety rules for hauling crude oil by rail after a string of explosive accidents earlier this year that caused enormous impacts to communities that are not even producing crude oil. Among the proposed rules released by the DOT are new speed limits for trains carrying oil, enhanced safety features for new railcars to carry oil and ethanol, and a quick phasing-out of older cars deemed unsafe. Other measures include advanced braking systems for trains, and expanded oil flammability testing before cargoes are shipped.

Musicland v. Ceridian Most Important Case regarding Minnesota Environmental Liability

Musicland v. Ceridian was the most important case in Minnesota regarding cost recovery. Evidence was sufficient to support the jury's finding that Control Data was negligent, and the damages awarded to Musicland were both reasonable and necessary response costs. The trial court erred by awarding attorney fees for time spent on Musicland's summary judgment motion, but the remaining award was not an abuse of the trial court's discretion.

MPCA policy change: Parcels are likely to remain contaminated longer

This change in policy by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) marks a significant change for the way developers and land owners pursue public funding for redevelopment of contaminated property. In many cases, “conceptual” Response Action Plans or RAPs were used to secure funding for investigation and clean-up of land parcels for which no redevelopment opportunities were identified. This improved local tax base and gave communities peace of mind regarding contaminated sites. With the MPCA policy change, these parcels are likely to remain contaminated longer and retain risk for individuals residing nearby and the environment.

PCA Citizens Board Approves Issuance of Final Industrial General Storm Water Permit

This completion of a new permit by MPCA marks an important step forward for all regulated parties.

MPCA to publish final Stormwater General Permit for Comment

MPCA indicated that efforts were under-way to send the public notice for the draft permit to the State Register on June 17, 2009, a step that begins the public comment period. Furthermore, the MPCA indicated that a revised DRAFT permit would be sent to the workgroup by today (two days prior), for workgroup review.

MPCA Addresses Brownfield Users' Concerns

As you may know, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) conducted focus groups in 2008 to solicit comments regarding the improvement of the Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) Program and the Petroleum Brownfield Program (PBP).

New Joint Application with MPCA