In Brief

Vol. 43 No. 6

Theodore L. Garrett is a partner at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. He is a former chair of the Section and is a contributing editor of Trends.


A court of appeals held that the United States may recover response costs from General Electric (GE) for the cleanup of a site operated by a paint manufacturer. United States v. General Electric Co., 670 F.3d 377 (1st Cir. 2012). The court rejected GE’s argument that it was not an arranger because it sold scrap polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) materials to the paint manufacturer, concluding that Burlington Northern does not require a stated objective to dispose of hazardous materials. The court upheld the district court’s finding of intent, emphasizing that GE considered the scrap PCB materials to be a waste product, GE controlled the delivery of PCB materials to the site, the paint manufacturer had asked GE to retrieve drums of scrap PCB that were not needed, and GE continued shipments to the site even after the paint manufacturer stopped paying GE.

Premium Content for:

  • ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Members
Join Now

Already a member? Log In


  • About Trends

  • More Information

  • Contact Us

The Clean Air Act Handbook, Fourth Edition