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Legal Background to Off-Site Contamination

February 2007

Citation: 37 ELR 10144

Issue: 2

Author: John Pendergrass

Editor's Summary: The law governing off-site contamination began with common law and has grown to include federal legislation such as Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Oil Pollution Act. John Pendergrass traces the development of this area of law from its beginnings in tort and third-party liability to present-day state and federal statutes. In this Article, he offers a study of the chronology of brownfields legislation, concluding with some remarks about the future of off-site contamination law.

John Pendergrass is a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). He is director of ELI's Center for State, Local, and Regional Environmental Programs and Co-Director of the Brownfields Center at ELI. He has conducted numerous research projects and published extensively on state and federal brownfields programs, U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Energy cleanup and reuse programs, and the use of institutional controls in all federal and state cleanup programs. He can be reached at pendergrass@eli.org. [Editors' Note: This Article appears in the book When Bad Things Happen to Good Property, by Robert A. Simons, Ph.D., published in 2006 by ELI. The book can be ordered by either calling ELI at 800-433-5120 or logging on to the ELI website at http://www.eli.org.]

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