Practice Area

Hazardous Material Contamination


Hazardous Material Contamination and Superfund

Clients often contact the attorneys at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after they find themselves cleaning up an accidental hazardous waste spill on their property or after they receive a notice of violation from an environmental agency. In other situations, hazardous materials from one property have migrated to a neighboring property and have caused significant contamination. In these types of cases, immediate remediation of contamination is only one step of the process. Clients should also protect their legal interests from the outset.

For years our lawyers have counseled clients on the most cost-effective resolution to property contamination issues.

Our experience includes resolving exposure due to leaking underground storage tanks, hazardous material migration and water contamination. We have represented clients who are seeking damages as well as clients who are defending against damages. Our clients have included municipal agencies and private companies of varying sizes.

We have also represented clients with responsibilities in large Superfund (CERLCA) sites and can help clients navigate the process and explore their resolution options through negotiations, arbitration, mediation and, if necessary, litigation.

Minimizing Exposure and Liability

Our goal is resolve our clients’ liability as quickly as possible and with the least amount of financial exposure. Our experience also includes addressing natural resource damage claims.

Covering Cleanup Costs

Our firm has also helped our client obtain insurance coverage to cover cleanup costs as well as financial damages. We are experienced in reviewing insurance policies to determine applicability of coverage and in negotiating with insurance companies to provide coverage.

Call Us for Practical and Cost-Effective Solutions to Toxic Tort Matters

For more information about our environmental law and toxic tort practice call 412-281-5060 or send our Pittsburgh environmental attorneys an e-mail by completing the contact form on this website.

Representative Engagements

  • Representing a remediation contractor in a multi-party, multi-faceted litigation arising from a fly ash land slide that impacted a residential neighborhood.
  • Representing a waste and recycled oil recovery transporter in Superfund litigation arising out of the cleanup of a waste oil recovery facility.
  • The representation of a waste disposal company in various regulatory and permitting matters, including litigation arising out of permitting and civil penalty actions.
  • The representation of a major chemical manufacturer concerning several hazardous disposal sites where its waste was disposed by a transporter.
  • The representation of a municipal water company in an action against the owners and operators of several industrial facilities located near the water company’s water supply wells for damages caused by groundwater contamination by industrial solvents.
  • The representation of a generator of listed hazardous wastes in an action brought by the owner of the disposal company which accepted them for delivery to and disposal at the disposal company’s landfill. The action, which was brought under the federal and state Superfund laws as well as Pennsylvania common law, sought several million dollars in the estimated costs involved in closing the landfill in compliance with Pennsylvania hazardous waste disposal area regulations.
  • The representation of a hazardous waste disposal company which transported industrial wastes to a municipal landfill, in an action brought by the United States Environmental Protection Agency seeking to compel generators and transporters of industrial wastes to finance the estimated $50 million closure of the landfill.
  • The representation of a municipal operator of a sewage collection and treatment system in multifaceted litigation arising out of the alleged contamination of farmland from cadmium contained in sewage sludge used as a fertilizer and soil conditioner on the land.
  • The representation of a coal mining company in an appeal of a compliance order directing the treatment or abatement of a large polluting groundwater discharge emanating from the ground approximately 200 yards off the mine site.
  • The representation of a large real estate development company in an action against the state environmental protection agency and a local municipality challenging a construction ban imposed by DER as a result of the municipality’s failure to enact a sewage facilities plan acceptable to DER.
  • The representation of a municipal drinking water authority involving contamination of the public water supply with MTBE.
  • The representation of the operator of a POTW in a civil penalty action initiated by EPA under the Clean Water Act for alleged failure to enforce pre-treatment standards.