In a very interesting – and extremely rare – case, Emhart Industries has successfully defended itself against a unilateral administrative order issued by EPA under CERCLA, on the ground that key decisions made by EPA were arbitrary and capricious. The decision, concerning the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site, is worth a read for CERCLA practitioners, even though it weighs in at 108 pages.… More
Category Archives: Remedy Selection
Earlier this week, Scott Pruitt released the results of the Superfund Task Force he established in May. Though skeptical, I was pleased at the creation of the task force and goals he established for it. With the release of the report, my skepticism has returned.
First, the report and Pruitt’s memo about it repeat the claptrap about restoring “the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the agency’s core mission.” Since he keeps repeating that statement,… More
Last week, I offered less than fulsome praise of EPA Administrator Pruitt’s announcement that he was taking control of remedial decisions for big Superfund sites. Now, he’s followed up with a memorandum announcing establishment of a task force to look at ways to reform Superfund implementation. While he’s still plainly wrong in putting Superfund “at the center of the agency’s core mission,” I have to confess that I think he otherwise has pretty much hit a home run with the latest memorandum.… More
Last week, EPA Administrator Pruitt issued a memorandum requiring that all Superfund remedies estimated to cost at least $50 million be approved by the Administrator. I’m not optimistic that this will cure, or even ameliorate, what ails CERCLA.
First, the memorandum gets off on precisely the wrong foot. Administrator Pruitt states that:
The Superfund program is a vital function of the U.S.… More
As environmental regulators look more and more to scientific experts to devise treatments for contaminated sites, it might behoove those regulators to consider the import a a recent medical study which dramatically suggests that problems may not always be best addressed by the application of aggressive treatments devised by experts. That study evaluated mortality rates among cardiac patients hospitalized during the period when national cardiology conventions were being held. … More