ARCO next argued that because landowners are “potentially responsible parties” (PRPs) under CERCLA, the plaintiffs were barred from undertaking any remedial action—a requirement of pursuing restoration damages—without EPA authorization, which they lacked. 42 U.S.C. § 9622(e)(6). In response, and despite the fact that 42 U.S.C. § 9607 seemingly broadly states that all landowners are PRPs, the court held that the land owners were not PRPs because they had never been treated as such nor had there been any judicial or agency finding that they were PRPs since the property was designated a Superfund site over three decades prior.
Although the federal government agreed with ARCO that the Montana Supreme Court decision was “erroneous” for multiple reasons, the government requested that ARCO’s petition should be denied due to the “interlocutory posture” of the case. Nonetheless, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the petition.The questions presented in the petition are whether:A common-law claim for restoration seeking clean-up remedies that conflict with remedies the EPA ordered is a jurisdictionally barred “challenge” to the EPA’s clean-up under 42 U.S.C. § 9613 of CERCLAA landowner at a Superfund site is a “potentially responsible party” that must seek EPA approval under 42 U.S.C. § 9622(e)(6) of CERCLA before engaging in remedial action, even if the EPA has never ordered the landowner to pay for a cleanupCERCLA preempts state common-law claims for restoration that seek clean-up remedies that conflict with EPA-ordered remedies. We will continue to watch this case, which according to the Petitioner involves “one of the most consequential decisions interpreting CERCLA in years.”
5(a)-(f) (nonadjudicatory public hearings, whether mandatory or discretionary, meet certain minimum requirements including notice provided no less than 30 days before the hearing, a location and time that facilitates public attendance, adequate time for scheduled and unscheduled testimony, and a record available for public review). [iii] See e.g., 42 U.S.C. § 7413(g) (Clean Air Act); 42 U.S.C. § 9622(i) (CERCLA); 28 C.F.R. § 50.7 (DOJ policy for public notice and comment of proposed consent decrees in actions to enjoin discharges of pollutants).