As we posted a while ago, public companies must generally disclose material legal proceedings in their annual and quarterly reports to the SEC. Today we check back in with some recent filings to see who is disclosing what in the land of environmental enforcement.
- CANAL CAPITAL CORP | Form 10-K | 1/25/2011
In 1989, the Company sold its 48 acre Portland, Oregon stockyard to Oregon Waste Systems, Inc. On September 29, 2003, the United States Environmental Agency (EPA) placed a 4.2 acre portion of that property on the National Priorities List pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as the Superfund Act. In a letter from the EPA dated June 27, 2005 the Company, along with approximately 13 other parties, including the current owner and operator of the site, was notified that it might be liable to perform or pay for the remediation of environmental contamination found on and around the site. Since the receipt of the letter, the Company has been in periodic communications with the other parties who received a similar letter with respect to what action, collectively or individually, should be taken in response to the EPA assertion of liability. The Company believes that the remediation of contamination of the site is properly the responsibility of other parties that have occupied and used it for waste recycling purposes since 1961, although under CERCLA the EPA is able to assert joint and several liability against all parties who ever owned or operated the site or generated or transported wastes to it. This investigation is in its preliminary stages and the Company intends to vigorously defend any liability for remediation. At October 31, 2010, the liability for remediation, if any, is not estimatable and therefore no accrual has been recorded in the financial statements.
- OSHKOSH CORP | Form 10-Q | 1/28/2011
As part of its routine business operations, the Company disposes of and recycles or reclaims certain industrial waste materials, chemicals and solvents at third-party disposal and recycling facilities, which are licensed by appropriate governmental agencies. In some instances, these facilities have been and may be designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) or a state environmental agency for remediation. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and similar state laws, each potentially responsible party (“PRP”) that contributed hazardous substances may be jointly and severally liable for the costs associated with cleaning up these sites. Typically, PRPs negotiate a resolution with the EPA and/or the state environmental agencies. PRPs also negotiate with each other regarding allocation of the cleanup costs.
The Company had reserves of $2.0 million and $1.9 million for losses related to environmental matters that were probable and estimable at December 31, 2010 and September 30, 2010, respectively. The amount recorded for identified contingent liabilities is based on estimates. Amounts recorded are reviewed periodically and adjusted to reflect additional technical and legal information that becomes available. Actual costs to be incurred in future periods may vary from the estimates, given the inherent uncertainties in evaluating certain exposures. Subject to the imprecision in estimating future contingent liability costs, the Company does not expect that any sum it may have to pay in connection with these matters in excess of the amounts recorded will have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.