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District of 新泽西州 Finds the Government Not Liable for 整治 Costs Associated with Former Chromite Defense 现场

在未发表的意见中,美国新泽西州地方法院裁定,根据《综合环境响应,赔偿和责任法》(“CERCLA”)或《资源保护和恢复法》(“RCRA”)用于在前国防站点发生的补救费用。 PPG Indus。,Inc.诉美国),No. 12-3526,2018 WL 6168623(D.N.J.十一月26,2018)。去年 我们报告了 泰迪 Holdings诉美国,其中第九巡回法院拒绝向政府赔偿因原航空制造厂产生的补救费用而导致的零责任分配。在 PPG工业,新泽西州地区发现政府’战时对新泽西州铬铁矿设施的一般控制本身不足以施加赔偿责任,而政府与废物处理活动之间没有直接联系。地方法院’这项决定凸显了私人团体要让政府对前防御工地产生的清理费用负责的障碍。

PPG工业,Inc.(“PPG”)是新泽西州泽西市(“Site”) from 1954 to 1962 where a chromite ore processing plant was located. PPG purchased the 现场 from Natural Products Refining Company (“NPR”), which had owned and operated the 现场 since 1910 and whose operations included converting chrome ore to chromium chemicals. The production process created “mud” or “sludge,”含有有害物质—some of which was stockpiled on the 现场. During World Wars I and II, 美国国家公共电台 produced chrome chemicals at the 现场 for the Government and civilian consumption. During these wars the Government designated chromium chemicals as a critical war material and implemented price and labor controls, and subsidies.

In 1982, the City of Jersey City notified PPG that its 现场 posed a danger to public health, safety, and welfare. After conducting sampling that confirmed the contamination, PPG engaged in remedial activities—自2015年12月以来,该公司总共支付了3.61亿美元的补救费用。PPG于2012年提交了投诉和修正后的投诉,要求根据CERCLA收回成本和做出贡献,根据RCRA进行补救协助,以及根据《宣告性判决法》进行救济。各方越过对政府问题的简易判决’根据CERCLA和RCRA承担清理费用的责任。

PPG alleged that the Government was liable under 塞拉 as both an operator and arranger. First, the District Court explained that under the 最高法院’s decision in 美国诉Bestfoods524 U.S. 51(1998),“the government’对整个行业的一般战时控制不足以确立操作员责任。” PPG,2018 WL 6168623,* 12。相反,政府之间必须存在直接的联系’s involvement and the waste disposal activities at issue. Moreover, mere recommendations by 政府 are insufficient for imposing operator liability when such recommendations can be disregarded. The court explained that even though the Government had various interactions with the 现场, it “never directly managed or conducted 美国国家公共电台’关于污染的运营—释放和处置有害物质或实施环境修复。” ID。 在* 13。因此,法院得出结论,“政府的’s actions in relation to 美国国家公共电台’的工厂与整个战时对整个行业的影响相一致—not control over 美国国家公共电台’专门针对污染的活动。” ID。 Accordingly, the court held that the Government was not liable as an operator under 塞拉.

其次,地方法院裁定,根据CERCLA,政府不作为安排人承担责任。法院在作出决定时强调,政府从未对现场的危险废物拥有所有权或控制权。此外,法院认定PPG’未能提供证据证明政府以任何身份对危险废物拥有所有权,这足以抵消安排人的责任。法院还指出,政府对NPR产生危险废物的过程缺乏控制’的设施。法院发现政府’知道某些过程会增加本身不足以强加安排人责任的污染量。因此,法院认为政府有权对原告提起简易判决’安排者责任理论。

法院还认定,政府有权就PPG做出简易判决’s RCRA claim. As the Court explained, liability under RCRA can only be imposed on a party who actively manages or disposes solid or hazardous waste. Because the Court found that the Government was not an operator of the site and never managed or disposed of the hazardous waste at the 现场, it found that the Government could not be held liable under RCRA . Accordingly, the court granted the Government’要求即席判决并拒绝PPG的动议’s motion.

新泽西区’s decision in PPG 突出显示了原告面临的重大挑战,他们希望让政府承担与战时活动相关的环境清理费用。业主应听取地方法院的警告’的决定,但同时要注意发生逆转时的任何上诉,例如 泰迪. In the meantime, however, parties hoping to recover from the Government under 塞拉 or RCRA must establish a direct connection between the Government and disposal activities at a contaminated site to impose liability under either statute.