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Veolia Es Special Servs., Inc. v. Hilltop Invs., Inc.

ELR Citation: 40 ELR 20062
Nos. No. 3:07-0153, (S.D. W. Va., 02/18/2010)

A district court held that the inspector and loader of an oil tank car that ultimately spilled were not operators for purposes of CERCLA. Based on the clear statutory language, legislative history and case law, operator liability is limited to those who operated a facility at the time of disposal. As neither the inspector nor loader had any ability to manage, direct or conduct operation of the tank car at the time of disposal, they cannot be found to be operators. Nonetheless, tank owner is granted leave to amend its complaint in order to assert state-law claims for indemnity against the inspector and loader because CERCLA does not preclude liability for those outside of the statutory scheme of covered persons.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 38 ELR 20076]