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"Unringing the Bell": Overturning EPA Placement of a Site on the National Priorities List

June 1994

Citation: ELR 10316

Author: David L. Abney

Even if it is wrong, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) listing of a site on the national priorities list (NPL) can destroy its value, making it nearly unmarketable, and saddle present, past, and future owners and operators with huge evaluation, cleanup, and legal costs.1 If EPA has acted arbitrarily and capriciously, a prompt legal challenge may succeed in overturning EPA placement of a site on the NPL.2 Moreover, there may be other ways to avoid or remove an NPL listing, and evade the stigma and other costs of a Superfund designation.

Mr. Abney is the Special Assistant to Chief Justice Stanley G. Feldman of the Arizona Supreme Court. He has practiced in complex commercial and tort litigation. This Dialogue expresses only the author's views and opinions.

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