The Ninth Circuit held that an information request issued to a policyholder by the EPA under section 104(e) of CERCLA constitutes a suit requiring a insurance company to defend its policyholder.  Ash Grove Cement Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. 13-35900 (9th Cir. May 11, 2016).  Affirming the district court’s declaratory judgment for the policyholder, the court reasoned that a 104(e) letter is a “coercive information demand” and “an attempt to gain an end through legal process” and thus a suit under Oregon law.  The court further rejected insurance company arguments that the policy’s distinction between a claim and a suit evidenced an intent to not treat a 104(e) letter as a suit.  Nor more compelling was the insurance company’s argument of the lack of allegations of property damage necessary to trigger coverage.  The court also held that the insurance company’s duty to defend did not end when the policyholder responded to the 104(e) letter but rather continued until the EPA had issued a Record of Decision for the unit at issue.  Finally, the insurance company’s duty to defend was triggered by the policyholder’s notice of the 104(e) letter and did not require a formal tender of defense.