On April 27, 2011, the California Second District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court ruling obtained by Keesal, Young & Logan last year denying a note holder (mortgagee) injunctive relief mandating clean-up of alleged underground storage tanks (USTs) on property once owned by an oil company which had sold the property more than 20 years before. California Health and Safety Code section 25292 governs the storage of hazardous materials in USTs and requires that owners and operators of USTs take certain precautions to prevent or detect the release of dangerous products.The Court agreed with KYL that (1) section 25292 does not apply to former owners and operators of USTs; (2) section 25292 does not apply retroactively to owners who sold their interest prior to the Code’s amendment in 1983; and, (3) a holder of a deed of trust cannot maintain a private nuisance cause of action against a former owner/operator of USTs because it maintains only a security interest in the property.
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