US Supreme Court Rules on Clean Water Act

On April 23, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, under the CWA, a permit is required for a functional equivalent of a direct discharge of pollutants from a point source to navigable waters.  Thus, a permit may be – but, is not necessarily – required even where pollutants travel through groundwater before reaching navigable waters.  Read the Opinion here and click below to read more on what may constitute a “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge.

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MD Recognized by Chambers USA

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2020 Edition) recognized McMahon DeGulis LLP as a Band One firm in Natural Resources and Environmental law in Ohio.

Chambers USA distinguishes MD as a “Highly regarded boutique with expertise covering the full range of environmental law.”

Partners Michael McMahon, Gregory DeGulis and Louis McMahon were also recognized for their individual representation of clients. David Nash was named a Senior Statesman. To see what the Chambers USA editorial team says about these accomplished attorneys, view the full rankings. Per Chambers, a client says: [MD] “is well known as a top-tier firm for environmental matters. The team is also very well respected at all levels of the state and federal EPA.”

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US EPA Enforcement and COVID-19

US EPA announced a temporary policy to enable the agency to use enforcement discretion for non-compliance related to the COVID-19 pandemic provided regulated entities take the steps applicable to their situations.

US EPA’s March 26, 2020 memo provides for general conditions, as well as outlining specifics for routine compliance monitoring and reporting; settlement agreement and consent decree reporting obligation and milestones; facility operations; public water systems regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act; and critical infrastructure. The policy is retroactive to March 13, 2020 and does not have a specified end date.

For further guidance on how to proceed, please contact our attorneys.

Read the full memo here

SD of Ohio Grants Summary Judgment in CERCLA case

On March 27, 2020, Judge Rice of the Southern District of Ohio granted Summary Judgment to our client, Worthington Industries, Inc., in the Lammers Barrel PRP Group Litigation. This case concerned the former Lammers Barrel site in Beavercreek, Ohio which operated as a solvent reclamation business from 1944-1969.

The plaintiff, the Lammers Barrel PRP Group alleged that a “Worthington Corporation” facility in Columbus arranged for the disposal of “dirty solvents” to the Lammers Barrel site.

The evidence that Worthington sent material to the site originated from former employee testimony and a customer list which listed “dirty solvents.”

In its Motion for Summary Judgement, Worthington argued that the term “dirty solvents,” without any expert testimony which identified the hazardous substances, was not sufficient to establish CERCLA §107(a)(3) liability.

Judge Rice agreed and held that since the Plaintiff did not identify the hazardous substances in the dirty solvents, Worthington Industries was not liable as a generator under CERCLA §107(a)(3). Read the decision here.

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Gregory DeGulis Named 2020 Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland by Best Lawyers™

Congratulations to Gregory J. DeGulis, who has been honored by Best Lawyers™ as the 2020 Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland! Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” award. Greg was previously recognized as the 2014 Litigation-Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland.

This is the 8th time in recent years that a McMahon DeGulis attorney has received a “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland distinction. Mike McMahon was recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year” in both 2019, 2016 and 2011 for his work in Environmental law in Cleveland. Louis McMahon was recognized in both 2018 and 2015 as the Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland, as well as in 2017 with the Litigation-Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” distinction. David Nash was recognized as the 2013 Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” in Cleveland.

Greg has significant experience in environmental cost recovery matters, environmental insurance litigation, construction litigation and natural resource damage cases. He also has significant experience in Clean Water Act wetland matters.

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