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Strategic Envtl. Partners, LLC v. N.J. Dep't of Envtl. Protection

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20134
Nos. 12-3252, (D.N.J., 10/16/2017) (Vazquez, J.)

A district court held that a solar energy company that entered into an agreement to close a landfill and turn it into a solar farm cannot recover closure costs under CERCLA. The solar company bought the property and entered into an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection under the state Solid Waste Management Act to cap and close the landfill and to construct solar panels on the site. The agreement didn't require the company to remove or remediate any hazardous materials. In 2012, the solar company filed a recovery action under CERCLA against multiple parties who allegedly sent hazardous waste to the landfill, claiming it incurred laboratory testing costs in connection with its plan to cap and close the landfill, which constituted a remedial action. The court held that CERCLA did not require the solar company to cap the landfill nor did the company present any evidence that it planned to remediate the entire site. The claim was dismissed.