Sufficient Cause to Just Say “No”? CERCLA 106 Orders - NR&E | Winter 2011
CERCLA gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a powerful weapon to compel parties to remediate contamination, even when they may have defenses: Section 106 unilateral administrative orders, or UAOs. Non-compliance with a UAO can trigger major penalties. But, if a party has “sufficient cause” to decline compliance, penalties are not allowed. The cause (defense) must be based on objectively demonstrable, good-faith belief that it is viable, but it need not be proven. UAO recipients should consider “saying no” to coercive UAOs if they can meet the sufficient cause test.