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New York v. Oyster Bay, Town of

Citation: 19 ELR 20324
No. No. CV-83-5357, 696 F. Supp. 841/(E.D.N.Y., 09/16/1988)

The court approves a consent decree in an action brought by the State of New York under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and state law to require a town and several corporate defendants to remedy the hazardous waste problems at a landfill operated by the town. The decree requires the town to implement a comprehensive remedial plan for the landfill and requires the other defendants and approximately 145 third-party defendants to pay the bulk of the remedial costs. The court holds that the consent decree is lawful, fair, adequate, and in the public interest. The decree advances CERCLA's purposes by providing for a relatively speedy and comprehensive cleanup program and by dividing the cleanup costs fairly among the parties. The portion of the cleanup costs falling on local taxpayers is fair, since the landfill contains household waste and the town and local homeowners could have been responsible for almost all cleanup costs under state law if no suit had been brought. The provision of the decree requiring third-party defendants to contribute to a common defense fund on a per capita basis is fair.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Robert L. Osar, Ass't Attorney General
Two World Trade Ctr., New York NY 10047
(212) 486-6210

Counsel for Defendant
Carole A. Burns, Abraham S. Altheim
Newman, Schlau, Fitch & Burns
305 Broadway, New York NY 10007
(212) 619-4350