On March 17, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed that five new sites, including the Lower Hackensack River and the Brillo Landfill in Victory, New York, be added to the National Priorities List. The EPA is currently accepting comments on these proposed listings, with the public comment period set to expire on May 17, 2022.
Once a site is added to the National Priorities List, Superfund requires that EPA identify Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) – those responsible parties or contributors to the contamination at the site. This identification may involve the EPA’s issuance of requests for information pursuant to Section 104(e) of CERCLA followed by General Notice Letters, putting parties on formal notice of their potential liability at the site. The EPA may then require these PRPs to perform or fund a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS), which is conducted to identify the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to evaluate the alternatives for addressing the contamination. These investigations can take years to complete and are often very costly for the participating PRPs.
After the investigation is completed, the EPA develops a Proposed Plan for cleaning up the site. After public comments, the EPA selects the final remedy, which is set forth in the Record of Decision (ROD) for the site. The implementation of the remedy design and cleanup are often required to be funded by the PRPs. A PRP’s participation and cooperation in this process can impact its ultimate share of liability in future enforcement or contribution actions related to the site. On the other hand, should PRPs refuse to participate in any of these steps, they may be subject to contribution actions by the participating PRPs, or enforcement or cost recovery actions by the EPA itself. Representation by a seasoned attorney is therefore critical in achieving a reasonable resolution of costs and protection from excess fees and penalties.
Connell Foley is experienced in assisting PRPs throughout this Superfund process. If you are named as a PRP or suspect that you may be so identified and have questions about the potential risks and how to proceed, the attorneys in our Environmental Law Group would be happy to assist.
Christina Ku practices in Connell Foley’s Environmental Law group, where she applies a background in biological sciences and environmental regulation to a wide range of complex environmental matters. In particular, Christina ...
As Chair of Connell Foley's Environmental Law practice group, Agnes Antonian draws on her engineering background to address a broad range of complex environmental litigation and land use matters. Her environmental litigation ...