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Milford, Village of v. K-H Holding Corp.

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20143
Nos. No. 03-1597, (6th Cir., 11/23/2004)

The Sixth Circuit held that although a town's trespass claim against a factory was barred by the statute of limitations, the lower court incorrectly applied the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to deny the town recovery of any of its costs resulting from groundwater contamination. The town knew or should have known of its potential cause of action against the factory more than three years prior to bringing its trespass claim. Thus, the lower court properly dismissed the town's trespass claim. The court, however, erred in dismissing the town's CERCLA claim because the response costs the town incurred were "necessary." Likewise, the court erred in dismissing the town's NREPA claim because the factory caused a release of hazardous substances and at least some of the town's costs were "required." In addition, the court's award of attorney fees was too restrictive.