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United States v. Davis

Citation: 28 ELR 21412
No. 90-484, 1 F. Supp. 2d 125/(D.R.I,., 03/09/1998)

The court holds that a waste transport corporation was not an "arranger" liable under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) § 107(a)(3) for response costs at a liquid waste disposal site in New Jersey. The court first holds that it is undisputed that the corporation never generated any waste itself. The court next holds that the corporation never possessed the waste in question. There is nothing in the record that would indicate that the corporation held or stored waste thereby incurring a concomitant obligation to arrange for disposal. It is undisputed that the corporation merely transported waste to a licensed waste disposal facility in New Jersey and never selected the site where the waste was ultimately disposed. The court then holds that the facts show only that the corporation is a transporter within the meaning of CERCLA § 107(a)(4). The corporation accepted hazardous substances from various customers for transport to waste disposal facilities that the corporation selected. However, there is no evidence of any release or threatened release from these facilities that caused the incurrence of response costs. The court also holds that there is no evidence in the record upon which a reasonable fact finder could infer that the corporation operated as an arranger by brokering the disposal of its customers' waste.

Counsel for Plaintiff
R. Bradford Fawley, David W. Gartenstein
Downs, Rachlin & Martin
14 Linden St., Brattleboro VT 05302
(802) 258-3070

Counsel for Defendants
Gregory L. Benik
McGovern, Noel & Benik
1800 Hospital Trust Tower, Providence RI 02903
(401) 272-4000