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CERCLA: What is it, and how might it affect a business owner?

For starters, we'll just note that if CERCLA becomes an acronym that starts showing up in correspondence directed at your business, you'll soon know what the letters mean and, moreover, the potentially material consequences they pose for your enterprise.

Because CERCLA -- formally, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act -- rears its head in a big way when regulators tasked with identifying and cleaning up contaminated properties smell potential liability for current and past property owners.

If one of those entities is you, you're likely to become embroiled in complexity and subjected to more than a modicum of stress.

And you're probably going to want -- and need -- to timely contact a law firm that devotes its entire practice to environmental law matters and the defense of individuals and commercial entities that face compliance or litigation issues.

CERCLA was enacted into law by the U.S. Congress in 1980. Unsurprisingly, it features in a major way in California, a state where environmental-related concerns have always been prominent.

The legislation gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency primary oversight over identifying contaminated land and eliminating noted hazards. As we note on a page of our environmental law website discussing the CERCLA site remediation process, public funds for rendering toxic sites safe are often in short supply, resulting in regulatory officials often going after parties they deem liable for cleanup costs.

Understandably, the price tag can be high, sometimes even so onerously prohibitive that a company's very existence is threatened.

Proven environmental counsel knows that. As we state on the above-cited page, the goal of a proven legal advocate in a CERCLA matter is to effectively curb a client's liability and, when possible, remove the client from litigation altogether.

Environmental concerns are often weighty for a California business. An experienced environmental lawyer can help address them.

 

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