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Schiavone v. Northeast Utilities Service Co.

ELR Citation: 41 ELR 20132
Nos. No. 3:08CV429, (D. Conn. , 03/22/2011)

A district court held that utilities who sold used transformers to a scrap metal company in the 1970s are not liable under CERCLA or the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act. After Connecticut's environmental department discovered PCB contamination on the property, the current owner of the property filed suit arguing that the utilities arranged for the disposal of PCBs when it sold the transformers to the scrap metal company. The owner argued that EPA regulations setting forth PCB concentration assumptions create a rebuttable presumption that transformers manufactured prior to July 2, 1979, contained PCBs. But the EPA regulations apply only to transformers that are in use or in storage for reuse. The regulations do not apply to the disposal of transformers. And even if the transformers did contain PCBs, the utilities are not "arrangers" under CERCLA §107(a). The owner produced no evidence that could support a conclusion that the utilities intended to dispose of transformer oil containing PCBs when they sold the transformers for use as scrap metal.