The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 ("CERCLA") was enacted to facilitate prompt cleanup of property contaminated by hazardous wastes. CERCLA seeks to accomplish its goal in part by placing the financial burden of cleanup on those parties who are responsible for the problem and who benefited from the hazardous waste activity. Because environmental cleanup is a national priority and the cost of cleaning up toxic waste sites is staggering, the scope of liability under CERCLA is broad. A clean environment is a laudable goal and compelling responsible parties to bear the cost of cleanup is fair, but in its zeal to divert cleanup costs to private parties, Congress created strict liability for innocent current owners.
Diana L. McDavid,
Liabilities of the Innocent Current Owner of Toxic Property Under CERCLA,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol23/iss3/5