SW Legal Educational Publishing

Linkage of Chemicals to Groundwater Contamination Must Be Established by EPA
Description Company was held to be PRP responsible for $4.4 million in costs of NPL Superfund site clean up. EPA rejected company's assertion of evidence that contamination came from another source. Once EPA administrative remedies are exhausted, company has the right to have that issue of fact reviewed at trial.
Topic Environmental Law
Key Words Superfund, Groundwater Contamination, Reimbursement
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts EPA determined that the Des Moines, Iowa, water supply was contaminated with TCE. A land area was placed on the NPL that included land owned by Dico, which had used TCE in its activities. Dico contended that the TCE that caused contamination was not from its operation. EPA asserted that Dico was a PRP and ordered it to pay $4.4 million in clean-up costs. Dico sued for reversal. District court granted EPA summary judgment. Dico appealed.
Court of Appeals Decision Reversed in part. Dico must finish all administrative remedies before seeking review in federal court. However, Dico has raised issues of fact concerning the origins of the TCE. EPA rejects Dico's contentions because it believes it has evidence that Dico is responsible for contamination. That issue of fact must be reviewed at trial and is not to be disposed of by summary judgment.
Citation U.S. v. Dico, Inc., 136 F.3d 572 (8th Cir., 1998)

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