Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Natural Resource Damages (NRD)

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or “Superfund”), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), provides a comprehensive scheme which outlines the rights and responsibilities of parties involved in actual or threatened releases of hazardous substances. CERCLA’s remedial action program covers inactive hazardous waste facilities and is often seen as a complement to RCRA’s corrective action program for active hazardous waste facilities. CERCLA response actions, consistent with the national contingency plan (NCP), can take the form of either short-term “removal” actions (for releases or threatened releases requiring immediate response) or long-term “remedial” actions (for releases or threats of releases that are serious but not immediate threats to human health or the environment). The federal Superfund provides the government and private parties with the financial means to take such response actions.

Over the past 20 years, the attorneys at Stephens & Stephens have represented clients identified as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and PRP groups in many CERCLA matters. We are able to bring corporations faced with CERCLA liability a strong, comprehensive understanding of all stages of the CERCLA process, including new and emerging issues such as soil vapor intrusion and brownfields. Typical legal services include:

  • Communicating with Federal and State Agencies
  • Preparing and Coordinating Responses to 104(e) Requests
  • Assembling and Organizing PRP Groups and Committees
  • Negotiating Consent Orders
  • Interviewing/Hiring Firms for Site Investigation and Remediation
  • Identifying Additional PRPs
  • Negotiating and/or Litigating Shares of Recalcitrant Parties
  • Negotiating and Allocating Costs and Expenses Among Participating PRPs

Stephens & Stephens has represented PRPs at many sites in Western, Central, and Upstate New York, including:

Broome County:

  • Tri-City Barrel Company

Chenango County:

  • Novak Farms
  • Solvent Savers

Erie County:

  • Bern Metal/Universal Metals
  • Cherry Farm
  • ENRX, Inc.
  • Envirotek
  • Pfohl Brothers Landfill
  • River Road
  • Roblin Steel
  • Wide Beach

Genesee County:

  • Byron Barrel

Monroe County:

  • Sweden 3 – Chapman
  • Rolling Plains Development

Niagara County:

  • Booth Oil Company
  • Frontier Chemical – Royal Avenue
  • Frontier Chemical – Pendleton
  • Lockport City Landfill
  • Solvent Chemical

Oneida County:

  • Ludlow’s Sand and Gravel

Onondaga County:

  • Onondaga Lake
  • Abandoned Pompey Solvent Center
  • Brighton Avenue Landfill
  • Clay Town Landfill
  • General Motors – Inland Fisher Guide
  • Ley Creek – PCB Dredgings
  • Tripoli Landfill

Oswego County:

  • Clothier Site
  • Fulton Terminals Site
  • Holbrook Property
  • Irwin Property
  • Pollution Abatement Services (PAS) – Mexico Milk Plant
  • Pollution Abatement Services (PAS) – Main Site
  • Volney Landfill

Seneca County:

  • Tantalo Landfill

St. Lawrence County:

  • Central Foundry
  • Minerals Processing
  • Sealand Restoration
  • St. Lawrence-Grasse River-Massena Area
  • Waste Stream, Inc.

Stephens & Stephens has also represented PRPs at sites in New Jersey, including:

  • Jones Industrial Services (J.I.S.) Landfill
  • Lower Passaic River Study Area (LPRSA)

For more on CERCLA, please see:

R. Hugh Stephens, Esq., Overview and Update of CERCLA, prepared for the Bar Association of Erie County Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program, Environmental Law Update 2005 (October 22, 2005).

For more on natural resource damages, please see:

R. Hugh Stephens, Esq. and Elsa J. Schmidt, Esq., Natural Resource Damage (NRD) Litigation Under CERCLA, prepared for the Bar Association of Erie County Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program, Environmental Law Update 2009 (May 8, 2009).