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Action Manufacturing Co. v. Simon Wrecking Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20204
Nos. No. 06-3679, (3d Cir., 07/28/2008)

The Third Circuit upheld a lower court decision finding a waste hauler liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in connection with the Malvern TCE Superfund site and ordering it to pay $1.5 million in contribution to parties cleaning up the site. The lower court did not err in holding the hauler liable as a transporter since the evidence shows that the hauler actively participated in the selection of the site. Nor did the lower court abuse its discretion in awarding monetary, as opposed to declaratory, relief. Similarly, the court's application of an uncertainty premium of 50% to past and future costs was not error where future costs are speculative in nature. An uncertainty premium on total costs was an equitable method of acknowledging the benefit received by the hauler in resolving its liability prior to the completion of the cleanup, which could take 30 years. And the costs already incurred by those cleaning up the site are necessary and consistent with the national contingency plan.