Yankee Gas Services Co. v. UGI Utilities, Inc.
Citation: 41 ELR 20156
No. No. 10-1570, (2d Cir., 04/13/2011) aff'd
The Second Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the parent corporation of nine manufactured gas plants (MGPs) is not an "operator" of those plants for purposes of CERCLA liability. The current owners of the MGP sites filed suit against the parent corporation, seeking to recover costs they incurred in responding to MGP pollution the occurred from 1884 to 1941. But the corporation was not an operator of the MGPs during the period in question under the standard set forth in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Bestfoods, 524 U.S. 51, 28 ELR 21225 (1998). Although the owners provided an impressive volume of contemporaneous corporate records illustrating the extent of the corporation's involvement in the business of its subsidiaries, its oversight of the subsidiaries did not, as a matter of law, equate to managing, directing, or operating those subsidiaries.