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By Elizabeth Glass Geltman

Older--and usually economically depressed--industrial towns commonly have a couple of good situated yet deserted business websites. Too usually those websites are seriously polluted through the residue of poisonous wastes dumped whilst outdated factories have been nonetheless in use. those "brownfield" websites has to be wiped clean up below current legislation ahead of they are often redeveloped. And but the query of who will endure the price of this cleanup often stymies efforts to come back those websites to effective use. a sophisticated internet of federal, country and native laws can contain a number of generations of homeowners in strength legal responsibility for the cleanup, usually ensuing basically in prolonged litigation, infrequently within the cleanup of the positioning. during this publication, Elizabeth Glass Geltman surveys the legislation on either the federal and kingdom point in regards to the cleanup of brownfield websites. the writer makes helpful feedback for reforming those legislation that might support motivate land reuse and the accompanying redevelopment of the economic base of many American towns either huge and small.
Elizabeth Glass Geltman is Professor of legislation, George Washington collage legislations college and is the writer of many books on environmental legislations, together with Modern Environmental legislation: coverage and Practice.

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847 F. Supp. D. Va. 1994); United States v. , 1994 WL 541069 (D. Md. 1994). 120Dedham Water Co. v. Cumberland Farms Dairy, Inc. 2d 1146, 1153 (1st Cir. 1989). 121/d. at 1044. See generally JENNIFER L. IN & R. YOUNt;, MANAGING ENVIRONMENTAl RISK: REAL ESTATE AND BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS § 4 (1994); BAXTER'S ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE MANUAL § 15 (1994). Specifically, the statute reads: (1) the owner and operator of a vessel (otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the United States) or a facility, (2) any person who at the time of disposal of any hazardous substance owned or operated any facility at which such hazardous substances were disposed of, (3) any person who by contract, agreement, or otherwise arranged for disposal or treatment, or arranged with a transporter for transport for disposal or treatment, of hazardous substances owned or possessed by such person, by any other party or entity, at any facility owned or operated by another party or entity and containing such hazardous substances, and (4) any person who accepts or accepted any hazardous substance for transport to disposal or treatment facilities or sites selected by such person.

Okla. 1990). , Missouri v. Independent Petrochemical Corp .. 610 F. Supp. D. Mo. 1985): O'Neill v. Picollo, 441 F. Supp. R.!. 1988). 132See United States v. , 729 F. Supp. 1461 (D. Del. 1990). " Section 107(b) lists these defenses as follows: (b) There shall be no liability under subsection (a) of this section for a person otherwise liable who can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the release or threat of release of a hazardous substance and the damages resulting therefrom were caused solely by-(I) an act of God; (2) an act of war; (3) an act or omission of a third party other than an employee or agent of the defendant ...

Existing law then precluded the homeowners from suing Hooker Chemical Company (the company factually responsible for the site contamination) due to lack of privity relationship between the homeowners and the polluter. Similarly, RCRA was unavailable as a remedy for the homeowners because the site was an abandoned, inactive, hazardous waste site and RCRA regulates only active hazardous waste sites. Congress enacted CERCLA to remedy this gap in the law. CERCLA serves two "essential" yet independent purposes.

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