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United States v. B&D Elec., Inc.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20118
Nos. No. 1:05CV63, (E.D. Mo., 05/09/2007)

The court held that two utility companies are not liable under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination at the Missouri Electric Works Superfund site in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The companies sold electrical transformers to a third-party broker who then resold or transferred them to Missouri Electric Works, which was in the business of repairing transformers and reselling them to private businesses, public institutions, and utilities. Some of the oil in the transformers that were repaired, serviced, and resold contained PCBs, a hazardous substance under CERCLA, and the facility was eventually listed as a Superfund site. The court held that the utility companies are not liable as arrangers under CERCLA. The undisputed evidence shows that the companies sold useful products and were not arranging for the disposal or treatment of a hazardous substance when they sold the used transformers to the broker. Therefore, neither company is liable for any response costs incurred at the site.