U.S. Supreme Court

Court Strengthens Superfund

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the federal Superfund law permits companies to sue to recover costs of voluntarily cleaning up hazardous material.

The ruling helps strengthen the Superfund cleanup program, the Associated Press reports.

Atlantic Research Corp. had sued the federal government to recover the costs of cleaning up rocket propellant that had seeped into the ground. The government had contended the company could not recover costs of a voluntary cleanup. Instead, it argued, the company would first have to be sued under the Superfund law or be targeted for enforcement action.

Justice Clarence Thomas disagreed with the government’s argument in his opinion for a unanimous court in United States v. Atlantic Research Corp. (PDF), No. No. 06–562.

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