Superfund Master Class: Today's Issues and Tomorrow's Reforms
The Gwen, 5:15 PM CDT
The CERCLA statute is 35 years old and experiencing an early mid-life crisis. Beginning in 2005, a series of U.S. Supreme Court and appellate-level cases have challenged what we thought we knew about divisibility, arranger liability, the difference between cost recovery and contribution, and the applicability of statutes of limitation and repose. The “fund” part of the Superfund law dried up long ago and fiscal issues are abundant, including not only stagnant or shrinking government resources but financial assurance, bankruptcy, NRD, and perpetual cleanup concerns for private industry. And, of course, the sites themselves keep getting bigger, more complicated, and much more expensive – think Portland Harbor, the Passaic and Fox Rivers, or the San Gabriel Valley, to name a few of the current crop of “mega” sites.
This one-day Superfund Master Class is a must attend for experienced Superfund practitioners. Leaders from EPA and DOJ will come together with their non-governmental counterparts to discuss, and perhaps find solutions to, emerging and continuing legal issues and obstacles within the CERCLA context. The format will encourage interactivity, and a key goal for the day will be identifying paths forward to develop consensus on improvements to the Superfund process. CERCLA is not going away, and the next 35 years must be as or more efficient and effective than the first.