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Tilot Oil, LLC v. BP Products North America, Inc.,

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20022
Nos. 09-CV-210, (E.D. Wis., 01/17/2012) (Stadtmueller, J.)

A district court dismissed a property owner's RCRA claim against an oil company for benzene contamination present in the basement of one of his buildings. The evidence fails to establish that there may be an imminent and substantial danger to human health or the environment. The owner does not use the basement for anything, the oil company is currently engaged in remedial activities, and the use of a ventilation fan has prevented any exceedances of the permissible exposure level for benzene. Accordingly, any threat of harm is currently minor and no remedy is necessary beyond that already occurring. Nor was there any evidence of potentially imminent and substantial endangerment of the environment. But the court denied the oil company's motion to dismiss the property owner's claims for trespass, nuisance, and negligence. These claims are not barred by the economic loss doctrine, and genuine issues of material fact exist as to these claims.