Legal Alert: United States Supreme Court Narrows Arranger Liability and Holds That Superfund Liability Is Not Joint and Several Where a Reasonable Basis for Apportionment Exists
On May 4, 2009, the United States Supreme Court issued an 8-1 opinion with broad implications for Superfund cleanups holding (1) that the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") cannot hold parties liable under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA") as "arrangers" for disposal unless they "intended" their wastes to be disposed of, and (2) that defendants may avoid joint and several liability if a "reasonable basis" exists to apportion their liability. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States (No. 07-1601, May 4, 2009) (consolidated with Shell Oil Co. v. United States (No. 07-1607).