Indiana Supreme Court Stays the Course on Pollution Exclusion: General Liability Policies Continue to Provide Coverage in Indiana

Written By David O’Neill, Director of Investigations, EnviroForensics & PolicyFind

The Indiana Supreme Court has issued its long-anticipated decision in State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company v. Flexdar, Inc. and in so doing has re-affirmed its ruling in American States Ins. Co. v. Kiger, 662 N.E.2d 945 (Ind. 1996) that the absolute “pollution exclusion” typically appearing in commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies issued in policy periods beginning in 1986 and later is ambiguous and unenforceable as to most, if not all, types of environmental liabilities. 

Declining to take State Auto’s suggestion that it bring Indiana’s law more in line with those of other states, the Court rejected what it called “literal” as well as “situational” interpretations of the absolute pollution exclusion, opting instead to stay the course and reaffirm its prior rulings regarding the ambiguity of the exclusion. Continue reading “Indiana Supreme Court Stays the Course on Pollution Exclusion: General Liability Policies Continue to Provide Coverage in Indiana”

Green Clean: How “Environmental” is Remediation?

Written By Keith Gaskill, L.P.G., EnviroForensics, in collaboration with Stephen R. Henshaw, P.G., President & CEO, EnviroForensics.
As seen in the March 2012 issue of Cleaner & Launderer.

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Environmental impact due to historical drycleaning practices is not a rarity.  In fact, it’s common to find drycleaning solvents in the soil, groundwater and vapor under and around current and former drycleaning facilities.  A big part of our job is to figure out the means to best remediate the environmental impact.

The purpose of remediation is to abate the environmental impact, clean up the contamination and protect human health and the environment.  But just how much are we affecting our overall environment by cleaning your site?  Does removing 50 tons of impacted soil from under a drycleaning facility clean a site?  Where does that soil go?  Does the installation of a mechanical remediation system such as Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) not have its own environmental impacts?  The systems run on electricity and electricity must be produced, many times by the combustion of coal or hydrocarbons which creates greenhouse gas emissions and sulfur and other non-friendly emissions.  Even the protective Tyvek suits, Latex gloves and disposable sampling equipment creates waste which is landfilled.  On one hand we are cleaning up a problem and on the other we are creating a problem. Continue reading “Green Clean: How “Environmental” is Remediation?”