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Pennsylvania Urban Dev. Corp. v. Golen

Citation: 19 ELR 21066
No. No. 88-4020, 708 F. Supp. 669/30 ERC 1174/(E.D. Pa., 03/17/1989)

In a private cost recovery action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the court holds that the plaintiff does not have standing to allege that the costs of its pre-purchase investigation were caused by a release or a threatened release of hazardous substances within the requirements of CERCLA § 107(a). The court holds that plaintiff had no protectable interest in the property at the time it performed the investigation. Although plaintiff may have incurred response costs consistent with the National Contingency Plan, it did not prove to the court that it had equitable title prior to the date it acquired legal title. Moreover, plaintiff did not acquire any interest in the property until at least one year after it had incurred the costs of the pre-purchase evaluation.

Counsel for Plaintiff
David G. Mandelbaum
Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll
20th Fl., 30 S. 17th St., Philadelphia PA 19103
(215) 564-1800

Counsel for Defendants
Albert J. Slap, John A. Moore, Mitchell A. Kramer
Mitchell A. Kramer & Associates
23d Fl., Architects Bldg., 117 S. 17th St., Philadelphia PA 19103
(215) 665-8858

Claire Rocco
Hangley, Connolly, Epstein, Chicco, Foxman & Ewing
Ninth Fl., 1515 Market St., Philadelphia PA 19102
(215) 851-8422