A group of PRPs received an oversight cost bill pursuant to a CERCLA consent decree. (The following details are intentionally vague to protect both the innocent and the guilty.) The bill was for several hundred thousand dollars. During the year covered by the bill, the PRPs spent no money cleaning up the area of the site covered by the invoice. They spent little or no money monitoring the area of the site covered by the invoice. They spent no money preparing plans for the area of the site covered by the invoice.
It would be bad enough if EPA’s oversight costs were of the same magnitude as the PRPs’ direct response costs. Unfortunately, EPA’s oversight costs were more than the PRPs’ direct costs. Indeed, they were not just more than the PRPs’ costs. They were substantially, if not infinitely, more than the PRPs’ costs.
And so I ask again: Is Superfund a machine for manufacturing Tea Party members?