Squire Patton Boggs
February 10, 2020
Two months ago, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Gregory Christian. The case is critically important to environmental lawyers in the United States because it may alter the operation of Congress’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) scheme for environmental remediation. CERCLA gives EPA broad power to command government agencies and private parties to clean up hazardous waste sites. In Christian, the Court will address whether and to what extent private landowners (and ultimately a jury of lay citizens) can, through state-law property-rights’ claims, contradict EPA’s plan for cleanup and remedial efforts.