Supreme Court Could Choose ‘Chaos’ or Order in Superfund

June 20, 2019Media Mention
Bloomberg BNA Environment & Energy Report

Noah Perch-Ahern was quoted in Sylvia Carignan’s article that ran June 20, 2019, in Bloomberg BNA’s Environment & Energy Report on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Atlantic Richeld’s Montana Superfund case. A decision in the case involving the cleanup of the Anaconda Smelter Stack and surrounding Superfund area has the potential to create new lawsuits or uphold current statutes that govern Superfund cleanup.

Past Supreme Court decisions on Superfund law have created “considerable confusion and have led to increased litigation and lack of predictability,” Noah Perch-Ahern “However, if the decision is clear, it could provide guidance to all affected parties.”

The court’s decision to grant review is “unusual,” Perch-Ahern said. The grant doesn’t mean the court is inclined to arm or reverse the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling, but does show that some justices think additional guidance on Superfund law’s intersection with common law claims would be appropriate, he said.

“Given the lack of precedent on the specific issue presented, it does appear that some of the justices sensed error in the state court ruling,” Perch-Ahern said.