The expanding reach of CERCLA By Vickie Buchanan


To establish a claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq.) (“CERCLA”), the United States must prove: (1) the site is a “facility”; (2) a “release” or “threatened release” of a hazardous substance occurred; (3) the government incurred the costs in responding to the release or threatened release; and (4) the defendant is a liable party pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a). U.S. v. Chapman, 146 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 1998). Once the government establishes a prima facie case for response costs, the burden shifts to the defendant to prove that the government’s responsive actions were inconsistent with the national contingency plan. Id.

Article Authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Vickie Buchanan.

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