Thinking Strategically About Petroleum Contamination

Law360, New York (February 9, 2011, 6:54 PM EST) -- Given the maturity of our nation’s environmental laws, it comes as a surprise to many new environmental practitioners that no clear federal cause of action exists to recover the costs of cleaning up petroleum released by other responsible parties as a result of the exclusion of petroleum from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

The so-called petroleum exclusion was created during the rush to pass CERCLA in December 1980. The bill that eventually would become CERCLA, the Hazardous Waste Containment Act, began in the...
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