Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Decades later, lawyers still cleaning up on Superfund Act

"Superfund has been good for the legal profession. Entering the fourth decade of the environmental cleanup law's existence, business is still booming for lawyers involved in the mammoth litigation that often occurs."

Lawrence Hurley of Greenwire, writes in the New York Times' Green blog :
Many thought that the legal work surrounding the 1980 law, officially known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, would have diminished by now, but there are still hundreds of sites awaiting remedial work.

And where there is a polluted property, there is usually litigation.

Under the statute, companies that contributed to the contamination of a site are liable for cleanup costs. Where there are multiple parties, all can be required to pay something.

All kinds of legal wrangling ensues, both between government and private parties and between private parties who disagree over how much they should pay.

This wrangling, of course, is how environmental attorneys make their  living, and those specialists who have mastered the complexities of the murky federal law have, perhaps unexpectedly, turned that expertise into  lucrative legal careers. 

You can read the entire piece here

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