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Solutia, Inc. v. McWane, Inc.

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20062
Nos. 10-15639, (11th Cir., 03/06/2012)

The Eleventh Circuit held that parties subject to a consent decree may not file claims for cost recovery under §107(a) of CERCLA and that their remedies are limited to filing claims for contribution under CERCLA §113(f). If a party subject to a consent decree could simply repackage its §113(f) claim for contribution as one for recovery under §107(a), then the structure of CERCLA remedies would be completely undermined. For example, parties could circumvent the different statutes of limitations that attach to §113(f) contribution claims and §107(a) recovery claims, or they could thwart the contribution protection afforded to parties that settle their liability with EPA. This, in turn, would destroy CERCLA's statutorily created settlement incentive.