Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is This Heaven? No, It's Everett.

Everett. Our own little slice paradise. Right here in Massachusetts.

The First Circuit takes a look at a problem that's not unique to Everett in Boston Gas Co. v. Century Indem. Co., First Cir. No. 07-1452. Boston Gas Company used to operate a ton of manufactured gas plants. At the plants, they'd heat coal in large ovens.

This generated gas, which was good. But it also generated some wonderful byproducts. Like ash, drip oil, tar, and coke. As the opinion states, "Many are non-biodegradable and some are carcinogenic, and they now contaminate the ground and water around many former MGP sites; further MGPs were often sited near waterways, which were contaminated in turn." Think about that the next time you're thinking about taking a dip in the Mystic River.

The rest of the case is not hugely interesting. Unless, that is, you want to explore the relative rarity of a federal appellate court certifying an uncertain legal issue to a state supreme court. That's in there, too.

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