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二次巡回意见书区分了撤除和补救措施,以便及时找到政府索赔

确定根据《美国法典》第42卷《综合环境响应,赔偿和责任法》提出的索赔的适当时效法。第9601条及以下(“CERCLA”),这通常是一件棘手的事情。 通常,该问题是在确定是否根据《美国法典》第42卷第107(a)条正确提出索赔的情况下出现的。§9607(a),自愿发生的费用,或§ 113(f), 42 U.S.C. §9613(f),对于根据法院命令或已批准的和解而产生的费用,因为第107(a)条的索赔可能受到六年时效的限制,而根据第113(f)条进行的索赔却受到三年的时效的限制期。  However, in 纽约州诉Next Millenium Realty,LLC,No.12-2894-cv(2 nd Cir. Oct. 15, 2013), the 第二回路 turned its attention to a different distinction, the one between removal actions and 补救的 actions, as Section 107(a) claims “must be commenced … for a removal action, within 3 years after 完成 of the removal action [and] for a 补救的 action, within 6 years after initiation of physical on-site construction of the 补救的 action. . . .” 42 U.S.C.第9613(g)(2)(B)条。  In order to find the claims of the State of 纽约 timely, the Court held that a water purification system in use for over 15 years was nevertheless a removal action and not a 补救的 action because, among other things, the measures were intended to “最小化和减轻”污染造成的损害而不是“永久消除” it.  ID。 at 24.

此案涉及新卡塞尔工业区(“NCIA”)在新泽西州拿骚县。   In 1989, the Town of Hempstead discovered that two of its water supply wells near the 国家情报局 were contaminated with volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”). 为解决此问题,该镇安装了颗粒状活性炭吸附系统(“GAC”) to remove the 挥发性有机化合物 from the water and, in early 六月 , 1995, began construction of an air stripper tower to ensure the continued viability of the 广汽集团. 大约在同一时间,镇“began to suspect the 国家情报局 was the source of the groundwater contamination.”  ID。 在13点 随后,国家与潜在责任方于2001年6月下旬达成了通行费协议–汽提塔施工开始后的六年零两周,纽约州最终于2006年根据第107条提起诉讼,要求追回调查和应对井水污染的费用。  The defendants, all potentially responsible parties, moved for summary judgment on the ground that the installation of the 广汽集团 and the attendant construction of the air stripper constituted 补救的 actions for which recovery was barred as construction had begun more than six years prior to the entry of the tolling agreements.   区域法院同意,发现开始执行六年法规的相关日期是在1990年安装GAC或最晚在1995年6月上旬开始安装汽提塔的日期。

第二巡回法院推翻了地方法院’s decision.  Acknowledging that the underlying purposes of the cost recovery provisions of 塞拉 are to permit governments to immediately respond to contamination and later bring suit to “认为[]污染者对其行为负责,” ID。 at 17, the Court noted that 塞拉 is to be liberally construed in favor of the State. 当然,这与判例法是一致的,判例法通常有利于构建有利于政府的时效法规。 看到 , 例如 , 巴达拉科诉专员,464 U.S. 386,391,104 S. Ct。 756,78 L.Ed. 2d 549(1984); 凯利诉E.I.杜邦·内穆尔& Co.,17 F.3d 836,843(6th Cir。1994)。  The Court then went on to address, in general, the distinction between removal actions and 补救的 actions.

正如法院指出的那样,搬迁行动旨在对“对公共健康和安全的直接威胁” whereas 补救的 actions are “通常旨在永久性补救危险废物的措施。”  千禧地产有限公司 在18-19。   Here, the 第二回路 found that the 广汽集团 and air stripper were designed and remained in use for at least a decade for the purpose of ensuring safe drinking water for the Town’s residents and were not intended to, and did not, remediate the source of the contamination, namely the 国家情报局. 因此,三年限制期从 完成 of the removal action was the proper period and, because these measures were ongoing and were not adopted as part of a permanent 补救的 solution until 2003, the statute had not run before the tolling agreements were entered into.   

在得出结论时,法院驳回了被告的若干论点。 首先,法院对案件进行了区分,在这些案件中,已决定采取补救措施的有关行动导致提供了替代的供水,因此永久解决了眼前的健康风险,而不是之前发生的案件。 法院在这里发现,尽管最终将净化系统用作永久解决方案的一部分,但在那之前这是一项清除行动,因为该系统旨在应对健康威胁而不是解决污染源。 此外,法院认为,CERCLA’规定清除行动“shall not”在42亿美元的承付款项或12个月过去后继续进行。§9604(c)(1)由于某些原因而不适用。 首先,应用两个明确的例外–需要该系统解决对公共卫生的持续风险,并且继续使用该系统是“consistent”采取补救措施。 此外,甚至被告也承认,所引用的规定不适用于非联邦政府资助的行动,并且费用或期限对确定某项特定行动是撤消还是补救措施没有决定性作用。 最后,法院驳回了以下论点:由于国家将净化系统描述为“remedial,”他们受该名称的约束,说明该术语的通用用法“remedial”不等于承认这些动作没有删除。

所以,我们要吸取的教训 千禧地产有限公司 可能是几个。 首先,即使活动持续超过十年,持续时间或成本对于确定一项行动是否为清除都没有决定性作用,因为该行动的目标是减轻直接的健康风险,而该行动并未解决潜在的污染。 其次,有时每天(每周)都很重要,有时却没有’t. 第三,比额表几乎总是倾向于倾向于寻求追回已发生成本的政府实体。