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In re Yoder's Slaughterhouse Site

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20277
Nos. No. 07-250, (D. Md., 10/16/2007)

A district court denied the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) application for an administrative warrant pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) that sought access to an allegedly abandoned property for the purpose of removing and disposing of hazardous materials or, in the alternative, for sampling, identifying, and securing such materials. The issuance of a warrant is denied without prejudice pending EPA's showing that it is unable to identify a person or entity with the authority to consent to EPA's access to the property or, upon identifying such a person, that access is denied. While CERCLA does not specifically grant jurisdiction for the issuance of administrative warrants, precedence and a plain reading of CERCLA indicate that where Congress gives power to an agency to enter and make inspections, the agency is ipso facto empowered to seek a warrant.