Some incredible lapse of judgment (or reasonableness) must occur for an individual to accumulate $200 million dollars' (!) worth of potential environmental violations. And, of course, that is that happened with an auto repair facility in Northumberland Township.
When is a tenant liable as an owner under the federal Superfund law (aka CERCLA)?
In a case decided earlier this month from the U.S. District for Idaho, the Court imposed arranger and operator liability on the United States based on its permitting procedures and requirements at mining operations on federal lands. Nu-West Mining Inc. v. United States, Case No.: 4:09-CV-431 (D. Idaho March 4, 2011). The subject site is located in the Caribou National Forest in Idaho where there are four phosphate mines. The facts were that, in 1949, the U.S. leased out the right to mine to private companies, and, as part of the lease, the lessees had to obtain approval of plans for mining, waste disposal and reclamation. After the lessee received that approval, the U.S. performed inspections to ensure the lessee was properly disposing of mining waste and paying full royalties to the U.S., and also monitored environmental conditions at the mining sites, including water quality sampling.