Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Liebhart v. SPX Corp.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20144
Nos. 16-cv-700, (W.D. Wis., 11/02/2017) (Peterson, J.)

A district court held that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) being regulated under TSCA does not bar a Wisconsin couple from bringing a citizen suit under RCRA against a neighboring property owner for releasing PCBs during the demolition of a building on its property. The couple alleged that the demolition contaminated the surrounding area with PCBs, causing them to suffer from a variety of health problems. They filed suit against the owners of the property and the contractors that oversaw the demolition. The property owners moved to dismiss the case as PCBs are not a "hazardous waste" under RCRA. They contended that TSCA exclusively regulates PCBs. The couple contended that even if PCBs are not a "hazardous waste" they are still a "solid waste," and as such are covered under RCRA. The court held that TSCA may bar claims under RCRA but in such cases the defendant must show that allowing the RCRA claim to go forward would actually be inconsistent with TSCA. Further, the property owners showed no evidence that EPA has purported to narrow the meaning of “solid waste” under RCRA to an exclusive list of substances, as it says the EPA has done with respect to “hazardous waste.” The motion was denied.