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New York v. Solvent Chemical Co.

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20020
Nos. 13-132(L), (2d Cir., 02/24/2014)

The Second Circuit affirmed in part, and vacated and remanded in part, a lower court's allocation of contribution costs in connection with the remediation of two Niagara Falls, New York, properties. Below, the lower court held a chemical manufacturer liable to a solvent company for contribution. On appeal, the manufacturer argued that the lower court erred in all cost allocations by using combined monitoring well data for the two sites rather than site-specific data. But the Second Circuit previously upheld the allocation of past costs for one of the sites that used combined monitoring well data. This data was used to bridge the wide variation between the experts' estimates. The use of combined monitoring well data was therefore within the lower court's discretion in allocating past costs for the second site and for future costs for both sites. However, the lower court abused its discretion by using 2004-2006 monitoring well data when contemporaneous 2007-2011 monitoring well data was available. The court, therefore, vacated and remanded this portion of the case.