• Land Use Attorney Capitola

Environmental Law Alert – U.S. Supreme Court Narrows CERCLA “Arranger” Definition

On May 4, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an important decision under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), in the case of Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States (Shell Oil Co.).

The Court held that Shell Oil had no liability for soil and groundwater contamination cleanup costs under CERCLA as an “arranger” for “disposal” of hazardous substances merely by selling a pesticide to a user with knowledge that the user was a careless operator that caused spills and leaks during transfer and storage.

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