Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Opportunities for Environmental Enforcement and Cost Recovery by Local Governments and Citizen Organizations

May 1988

Citation: 18 ELR 10165

Issue: 5

Author: Adam Babich and Kent E. Hanson

Editors' Summary: When citizens and local governments are confronted with problems of pollution and environmental contamination, one of their options is to use the courts to seek enforcement of environmental laws against polluters or to recover the cost of cleaning up the contamination. In this Article, or to recover the cost of cleaning up the contamination. In this Article, Mr. Babich and Mr. Hanson review the citizen suit provisions of the major federal environmental laws and CERCLA's cost recovery provisions, examine important legal issues arising under such provisions, and assess the practical effect on citizen suits of recent Supreme Court precedent in Tull v. United States and Gwaltney of Smithfield, Ltd. v. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc. The authors conclude that citizen suits and cost recovery claims, though presently underutilized, can be an effective means of responding to past pollution, halting ongoing pollution, and perhaps deterring future violations.

Adam Babich is associated with the Denver, Colorado, law firm of McGuire, Cornwell & Blakey. He is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado's CERCLA Litigation Section and a graduate of Yale Law School. Kent E. Hanson is counsel to McGuire, Cornwell & Blakey and the former First Assistant Attorney General of the State of Colorado's CERCLA Litigation Section. Mr. Hanson graduated from the University of Denver College of Law.

Download Article >>>