TITLE

Settling the Tradeoffs between Voluntary Cleanup of Contaminated Sites and Cooperation with the Government under CERCLA

AUTHOR(S)
Gitler, Stefanie
PUB. DATE
August 2008
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2008, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p337
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In United States v. Atlantic Research Corp., the Supreme Court declared that a potentially responsible party can sue other parties under CERCLA for recovery of costs associated wish the cleanup of a contaminated site without first being sued by the government. This decision increased the incentives for a party to undertake voluntary cleanup, for it secured the ability to recover costs of remediation from other PRP5 at the site. However, the decision simultaneously reduced the incentive for early settlement with the government by removing protection against suit by other PRPs for parties who settled with the government for claims at a particular site. Since CERCLA was first passed in 1980, through the addition of the SARA amendments in 1986 and subsequent Supreme Court decisions, there have been evolving tradeoffs between the incentives to voluntarily clean a contaminated site and the incentives for early settlement with the EPA. In this note, I will discuss those changing tradeofff. and the state of the incentives as they have come to rest after Atlantic Research Corp. Finally, I will recommend that a legislative amendment protecting parties who have settled with the government from contribution claims would best serve to maximize incentives for both early government settlement and voluntary cleanup at contaminated sites.
ACCESSION #
35648850

 

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