Under CERCLA, "Owner" Means Owner When Cleanup Costs Are Incurred, Not When Reimbursement Is Sought

On July 22, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA," commonly referred to as the "Superfund" law), the owner of a contaminated site when cleanup costs are incurred is the "current owner" for liability purposes. The decision will provide clarity to state agencies or other entities that engage in the remediation of contaminated lands. In the event that a landowner refuses to accept responsibility for cleanup, the entity that performed the cleanup can easily determine whom to sue for repayment.

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Published In: Civil Remedies Updates, Environmental Updates, Residential Real Estate Updates, Toxic Torts Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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