Who Is Responsible For Cleanup Under CERCLA?What is CERCLA? The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, andLiability Act ( CERCLA )1)The purpose of CERCLA is to make owners and operators of hazardous wastedump sites and contaminated areas, as well as their customers, responsible forcleanup costs and property damage. 2)CERCLA is also referred to as THESUPERFUND.It is authorized to a level of 8.5 billion dollars.
The funding forCERCLA comes 87% from taxes on the chemical industry and 13% from generalrevenues of the federal government.Who is responsible? After a hazardous waste site is identified, CERCLA places ultimate cleanupresponsibility on those who used the site.Parties responsible for a waste dumpare liable for the cost of waste removal and other remedial action.If potentially responsible parties can be identified, then they can beheld liable for either cleanup costs incurred, or for replenishment of theSuperfund.Who is a Potentially Responsible Party?1.
)Owners and operators of waste sites.i)CERCLA actions against dissolved corporations are permissibleii)If one is the owner or operator, liability may attach even if some otherparty in the past placed hazardous wastes there. ( The seller of a foundry wasfound liable under CERCLA when it was sold for $25,000, but was appraised at$200,000, suggesting the decision to sell was for disposal of hazardousmaterials.)A vendor is not an owner if it did not own the property at the timeof toxic discharge from the facility.iii)A parent company may be considered the owner, despite the formation of asubsidiary with day to day control over operations.iv)Lenders and secured creditors are liable if they actively participate indecisions involving either waste treatment, or site development. They are notliable if they do not participate in management decisions.
(silent partners andbanks)v)An owner, employer,or waste generator may be liable for the harmfulconsequences of disposal practices undertaken by third parties in a contractualrelationship with it.( If I hire Fly-By-Night Disposal Corp. to dispose of mywaste and they do so by dumping it in the river, then I may be liable.)2.)Persons who accepted hazardous substances for transport or disposal.
3.)Persons who arranged with a transporter for transportation of wastes.4.
)Any person who arranged for disposal or treatment of hazardous substances.5.)Transporters of hazardous waste can be liable only where they have selectedthe site for delivery of the hazardous waste.What is a Potentially Responsible Party liable for?1)PRP’s are liable for releases or threatened releases which cause theincurrence of Response Costs.A response cost entails all costs of removal andremedial action, any other necessary costs consistent with the NationalContingency Plan, and the costs of any health assessment of effects study.2)PRP’s may also be held liable for damages to or loss of natural resources.