High Court Opens Can Of Worms With Superfund Ruling

April 21, 2020Media Mention

Greenberg Glusker Environmental Group Partner, Noah Perch-Ahern, was interviewed by Law360 to provide his thoughts on how Superfunds could be affected by the most recent Supreme Court ruling on the topic. 


Noah Perch-Ahern, a partner at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP, echoed that sentiment, saying that in the past most courts generally found that state law claims could not be used to challenge EPA cleanups. He noted that Montana, along with about half of the rest of the states, allows for "restoration damages," which could add significant costs to cleanups.

"Those types of claims can allow for damages that exceed the value of the property," Perch-Ahern said. "A landowner may say my property is worth $1 million, it's going to cost $2 million to clean it up, and if the state allows that type of damage, then you can go seek those higher costs, even though they may be more than the property is worth."

And since there is no body of law establishing what exactly constitutes a valid "challenge" to an EPA cleanup, he said courts could see some creative lawsuits testing the boundaries of what's a legally acceptable challenge.

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