Experience

State Superfund Trial

Represented a transportation company in a 4-week trial in federal District Court in Washington in a state Superfund contribution action relating to a former wood treating site. Obtained a complete defense judgment.

FMC Corporation

Farella represents FMC Corporation in separate coordinated lawsuits filed throughout the State of California regarding groundwater contamination due to historical applications of soil fumigants.  Farella successfully negotiated resolution of seven of the original eight lawsuits.

Hookston Station Toxic Tort Litigation

Represented Union Pacific Railroad in a mass tort litigation involving 225 plaintiffs in Contra Costa Superior Court alleging personal injuries and property damages from groundwater contamination. We obtained summary judgment eliminating the plaintiffs' strict liability/ultra hazardous activity, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, medical monitoring and "remediation" causes of action. We also won summary judgment of negligence-based property damage claims from 50 of the plaintiffs. Following these advantageous rulings, we negotiated a very favorable settlement of the remaining claims.

Angeles Chemical Company

Represent Omega Chemical PRP Group, as common counsel, which includes 115 defendants named in a complex environmental cost recovery lawsuit filed by Angeles Chemical Company in Southern California federal court.  We also represent two defendants in toxic tort litigation brought by nine individual plaintiffs involving sites in Los Angeles County.  Plaintiffs allege a variety of personal injury claims arising from indoor air exposure.

San Rafael Rock Quarry

Represented The Dutra Group in obtaining unanimous approval of the Marin County Board of Supervisors, following analysis and public review under CEQA and SMARA, for continued surface mining and proposed reclamation of San Rafael Rock Quarry.  We also represented Dutra in favorably resolving nuisance litigation by the State of California, County of Marin and a coalition of property owners that predated the Supervisors’ action.

Firm Highlights

Publication

Major Supreme Court Ruling Expands Reach of Clean Water Act NPDES Permitting to Certain Discharges to Groundwater

In a landmark ruling, the United States Supreme Court has held that, under section 301 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), a discharge of pollutants from a point source to groundwater is subject...

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News

SCOTUS Clean Water Act Test ‘Devastating’ for Industry

Sarah Bell commented on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying that the Clean Water Act can be used to regulate pollution that travels through groundwater. Read full article, here . The case is  County...

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Publication

Perfluorinated Compounds: No Longer an Emerging Contaminant

Lawsuits present major liability risks to PFAS manufacturers and industries that historically used PFAS in their operations. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) are synthetic, human-made compounds that were manufactured in the United States beginning...

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Event

LSI's PFAS Contamination and Regulation in California Virtual Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at LSI's virtual conference on PFAS Contamination and Regulation in California live webinar, "PFAS and Hazardous Materials Cleanup Laws." Details: CWA violations, CERCLA designations, and NRD claims as potential game...

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Publication

Supreme Court Ruling Expands Reach of Clean Water Act NPDES Permitting

Read the article on California Ag Net , here . In April, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling clarifying the reach of the federal Clean Water Act. The Court decided that a...

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News

Lawyers See Maui Opinion as Grounds to Challenge Trump Water Rule

Environmental law partner Sarah Bell was quoted in the Bloomberg Law article, "Lawyers See Maui Opinion as Grounds to Challenge Trump Water Rule." In the article, Sarah said the Maui holding will be used...

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News

EPA’s New Guidance Mandate Leaves Superfund Cleanup Less Certain

Sarah Bell commented in the Bloomberg Law article "EPA’s New Guidance Mandate Leaves Superfund Cleanup Less Certain."    Read the full article here .

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Publication

New EPA Clean Water Act Rule Attempts to Streamline Permitting Process

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule” (Rule). The Rule comes with significant procedural and substantive changes to the certification process for infrastructure projects. Under...

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News

Coronavirus Slowing PFAS Testing, Cleanup Efforts Across U.S.

Farella environmental law partner Sarah Bell spoke to Bloomberg Law about PFAS pollution testing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In the article, Sarah commented that multiple months of delays are likely to affect...

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News

EPA Narrows States’ Veto Power Over Infrastructure Projects

Environmental Law Partner Sarah Bell spoke to Bloomberg Law about EPA rule (RIN: 2040-AF86 ), which aims to discourage coastal states from relying on part of the Clean Water Act to block fossil fuel...

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