Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation - Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2009

    31 May 2010

    Congress enacted no changes to CERCLA during 2009. There were several 2009 administrative developments important to superfund practitioners. On October 1, 2009, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a revised and updated Model Consent Decree, incorporating all changes since 2001, including a paragraph-by-paragraph comparison.2 The changes include revisions to address the handling of contribution claims in light of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Cooper Indus., Inc. v. Aviall Serv., Inc., and in U.S. v. Atl. Research Corp,3 as well as revised financial assurance provisions, made more important by many recent bankruptcies.4 Several changes were also made with respect to federal agency potentially responsible parties (PRPs), including a reservation of the EPA’s right to issue Unilateral Administrative Orders (UAOs) to such federal agencies.

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