Eric E. Van Loon, Esq.

T: 617-228-0200
F: 617-228-0222
Available worldwide
Environmental
Eric Van Loon brings years of experience to every resolution. A dispute resolution professional since 1989, he has more than 20,000 hours of experience in 42 states and eight countries as a mediator, arbitrator, speaker, and trainer in complex, multi-party, high-stakes disputes and is listed in "Best Lawyers in America" for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Van Loon has mediated, arbitrated, and facilitated disputes related to a broad range of environmental matters, including Superfund and other cost allocations, environmental enforcement, insurance, RCRA, land use, and siting controversies, real estate development, and energy policy. Before joining JAMS, he was Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs/Coastal Zone Management Director, Mass. Undersecretary of Economic Affairs, and Union of Concerned Scientists Executive Director. He taught Environmental Law at Boston University Law School and has extensive experience in complex federal litigation.

Representative Matters

  • Environmental Disputes
    • Arbitration: Sole arbitrator in multinational-oil company dispute over large refinery complex site-wide remediation costs. Panelist in high-eight-figure dispute among large corporate PRPs at upper-midwest NPL superfund site.
    • Superfund Site Remediation Settlements: Allocator for the USEPA Superfund Pilot Program at Nebraska site; WV manufacturing plant site; Long Island NY tungsten weapons production facility; NH municipal water supply contamination and automobile manufacturer waste disposal site; NJ and MI municipal landfills.
    • Remediation/Allocation Disputes: VT manufacturing facility hazardous waste cleanup, MA contaminated mill site remediation, ME commercial property cleanup; manufactured gas plant sites in FL and NH; exploded electrical transformer cleanups; dozens of residential and small business environmental discharge/fuel oil remediations; MA Technology Collaborative Waste to Energy renewable energy funds allocation; MTC solar funds allocation process.
    • Land Use: MA urban waterfront entertainment facility (non-water-dependant use) siting, Cleveland OH Jacobs Field Gateway complex, $250 million CT mixed-use waterfront development; western water use/coal development/power plant discharge mediation; development abutting a MA historic district.
    • Environmental Insurance: Multi-million dollar environmental remediation claims, including under 25-year-old policies. Issues of policy existence, terms, claims handling, exclusions (pollution and owned property), "expected/intended" vs. "sudden /accidental," and other insuror contributions.
    • Policy Consensus Building: USEPA Negotiated Rulemaking on Safe Drinking Water Disinfection, Environmental Assistance to Small Business (USEPA-U.S. Small Business Administration-U.S. Commerce Department), MA Electric Industry Restructuring, U.S. Institute of Environmental Conflict Resolution roster creation, American Energy Assurance Council National Energy Strategy.
    • Teaching/Training: Speaker at ABA Convention, International Bar Association, World Economic Forum. USEPA National Environmental ADR Conference planner/facilitator. Negotiation training: World Bank Private Participation in Infrastructure staff, USEPA Regional Superfund and Groundwater staffs, USEPA Pesticides staff. ALJ Training: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Neutral Party Environmental Allocation - Expanded Descriptions
    • Allocator at Nebraska NPL Landfill Site. As Allocator in U.S. EPA Pilot Allocation Program at Region VII landfill site, mediated full settlement among EPA/DOJ, federal, municipal, and private PRPs. Streamlined six-month process included protocol completion, public document repository creation, data gathering, allocation criteria evaluation, mediation, and final allocation report including orphan share and non-cooperating parties. Employed neutral technical analyst to help gather and evaluate data and conflicting scientific claims.
    • Region I NPL Industrial Site. Mediated settlement at Region I NPL industrial site among EPA/DOJ, state, and twenty-two PRPs. Issues included PRP allocations, fraudulent transfer allegations, ability-to-pay, and in-kind transfers for settlement of claims. All participating parties accepted negotiated shares.
    • New Jersey Landfill Site. Appointed by U.S. District Court, mediated allocation of NJ landfill remediation among 90 parties in six litigation groups (site owners, transporters, municipalities, private generators). Amidst multiple de minimis status claims, most private-generator/some municipal PRPs accepted allocation.
    • Region I NPL Hazardous Waste Site. Mediated Superfund settlement among EPA/DOJ, state, local water district, private land owners, and single PRP. Involved modifying ROD-specified groundwater remedy, construction and O&M of drinking-water treatment system, and past and future cost issues. All issues raised by all parties, including PRP shares, resolved successfully.
    • New Hampshire Manufactured Gas Plant Site. Settled allocation of past and future remediation costs between current utility company site owner and previous utility holding company. Issues included indemnification, corporate successor responsibility for third-party liabilities, extent of holding company control over operations, and scope and cost of future remediation.
    • Massachusetts Industrial Site. Successfully resolved multi-million-dollar environmental remediation claim by scrap metal company insured against a trade association insurance carrier under 25+ year old policies. Issues included the existence and terms of policies, claims handling, pollution and owned property exclusions, "expected and intended" vs. "sudden and accidental," and the effect of a prior payment by another insurance company.
    • Region IV NPL Landfill Site. Facilitated Mid-West Superfund landfill site settlement closure involving local and state governments, EPA, and 200+ third party defendants. Work included chairing settlement meetings, selecting and retaining joint legal counsel for third party defendants, serving as information liaison among settling parties, and coordinating administrative work to close the settlement. 200+ parties accepted consent decree allocation shares.
    • Region V NPL Industrial Waterway Site. Co-mediated disputes among 15 PRPs (performing and non-performing) at multiple-location NPL waterway site. Work included identifying key disputes, an interim allocation process, and recommending allocation process with both binding and non-binding elements.
    • Florida Manufactured Gas Plant Site. Mediated allocation of past and future remediation costs between site owner and previous owner-operators. Issues included corporate successor responsibility for third-party liabilities, cleanup scope and nature, testing adequacy, CERCLA versus RCRA standards, and NCP compliance.
    • Municipal Water Supply Contamination Remediation Allocation. Successfully mediated allocation of TCE contamination remediation costs between industrial park owner-manufacturer and successor corporations of past industrial tenants. Issues involved partial municipal water supply closure, pace of contaminant plume migration, interlocking corporate relationships, a dissident minority shareholder suit, potential personal liability, bankruptcies. Settlement included escrow to assure remediation completion.
    • Development Site Asbestos Remediation Allocation. Successfully mediated allocation of asbestos contamination remediation costs between a private developer partnership (on landfill site closed 30 years) and landfill customer, which had ceased all operations in the state three decades earlier. Issues involved statute of limitations, remediation calibrated to development potential, possible malpractice, and out-of-state litigation among partners.
    • Maine Commercial Property Remediation Cost. Co-mediated allocation settlement among current and previous owners of a commercial property. Issues included nature, scope, and cost of soil decontamination, groundwater impact, responsibilities of various owners, extent and measurement of property value diminution, and application of new state cleanup adequacy certification.
    • Massachusetts Petroleum Contamination Cleanup. Successfully mediated allocation of cleanup costs among a municipality, two major oil companies, and a local business owner. Issues included speed and direction of underground contamination migration, impact upon groundwater and municipal water supply, comparative negligence, and appropriateness of response costs. Process included a mini-trial presentation and retired judge advisory opinion.
    • Massachusetts Mill Site Contamination. Mediated dispute between current and previous owners of industrial facility and insurance company over responsibility for soil contamination and cleanup and potential impact on public waterway. Issues included interlocking corporate and personal relationships, estate and intergenerational issues, and liability of private family foundation.
    • Cape Cod Watershed TCE Contamination Remediation. Successfully mediated allocation of responsibility for TCE contamination remediation costs after several years of negotiation. Parties included shopping mall owner, individual merchants, and three insurers. Issues included "sudden/accidental" v. "routine operation," scope of state regulator release, future indemnifications.
    • Massachusetts Storage Tank Oil Contamination Remediation. Successfully mediated settlement of Mass. c. 21E allocation of remediation costs among a property owner nonprofit organization, an oil delivery and servicing firm, an independent maintenance company, and two insurers. Issues included causation, retroactive applicability of code standards, scope of statutory recovery, and treatment of "charitable contribution" for remediation.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers as one of the 2016 Best Lawyers in America for ADR
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Best Lawyers in America, 2009-2014
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Distinguished Fellow, International Association of Mediators
  • Named "Entertainment Industry Power Mediator" by Hollywood Reporter Esquire
  • Elected Town Moderator, Concord, MA
  • Member: ABA Sections on Dispute Resolution, International Law; Association for Conflict Resolution; FDIC, USEPA Superfund Pilot Program, and Library of Congress Copyright Arbitration Royalty panels
  • Board Member: MA Bar Foundation, Schweitzer Fellowship, Jericho Road Project
  • Lecturer on ADR at national/international forums: ABA, American Corporate Counsel Association, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, International Bar Association, World Economic Forum Mid-East North African Qatar Summit, Nigerian International Insurance Summit keynote, and in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan; published in ABA Dispute Resolution magazine

Background and Education

  • Massachusetts Undersecretary, Economic Affairs; Assistant Secretary, Environmental Affairs
  • Seven-year federal litigation legal practice
  • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1971
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics, 1968
  • A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1967

Disclaimer

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