|Federal District Court Rules PRP Can
Pursue CERCLA Cost Recovery Action Against State Highlights
- A federal district court in California recently ruled that a PRP could pursue CERCLA counterclaims for cost recovery and contribution against a state environmental agency.
- The court held that the counterclaimant had pled a plausible claim that the agency was an “operator” of the site, even though the agency’s role at the site consisted solely of response actions.
- The court rejected the state’s arguments that response-type actions cannot make a government agency an “operator” of a site, and that the state enjoyed sovereign immunity.
- This ruling has significant implications for private parties whose CERCLA liability arises from sites where government agencies have taken a leading role in response actions.
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