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United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
August 18, 2004, Decided
[*9] TORRUELLA, Circuit Judge. In 1977, Warren Picillo, Sr. and his wife agreed to allow part of their pig farm in Coventry, Rhode Island ("Picillo site") to be used as a disposal site for drummed and bulk waste. Later that year, after thousands of barrels of hazardous waste replaced what pigs at one time called home, a monstrous explosion ripped through the Picillo site. The towering flames, lasting several days, brought the waste site to the attention of the Rhode Island environmental authorities. Rhode Island investigators "discovered large trenches and pits filled with free-flowing, multi-colored, pungent liquid wastes." Violet v. Picillo, 648 F. Supp. 1283, 1286 (D.R.I. 1986). Recognizing the environmental disaster it had [**2] discovered, Rhode Island closed the pig farm and, with the federal government, began the cleanup process.
In a nutshell, this case involves an action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ("CERCLA") §§ 101-405, as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 ("SARA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601-9675, brought by a company whose hazardous waste was deposited at the Picillo site against a group of people who were involved with the site.
CERCLA is a statutory scheme that provides specific procedures for the remediation of a hazardous site. To understand this appeal, it is necessary to mention some of these procedures and define certain terms.
The remediation process at a hazardous site is called a response action. 42 U.S.C. § 9601(25). A response action involves removal actions, which "means the cleanup or removal of released hazardous substances from the environment," id. § 9601(23), and remedial actions, which "means those actions consistent with permanent remedy taken instead of or in addition to removal actions in the event of a release [**3] or threatened release of a hazardous substance into the environment," id. § 9601(24).
When the government performs a response action, it can bring "a cost recovery action under § 9607 . . . for the costs of the cleanup [against] a party found to be an owner or operator, past operator, transporter, or arranger." United States v. Davis, 261 F.3d 1, 28-29 (1st Cir. 2001). "A party found liable under § 9607 may in turn bring an action for contribution" against potentially responsible parties ("PRPs") 2 under § 9613(f). Id. at 29.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
381 F.3d 6 *; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 17296 **; 34 ELR 20078; 59 ERC (BNA) 1033
AMERICAN CYANAMID COMPANY, Plaintiff, ROHM AND HAAS COMPANY, Plaintiff, Appellee, v. DANIEL J. CAPUANO, JR.; JACK CAPUANO; UNITED SANITATION, INC., Defendants, Appellants, A. CAPUANO BROS., INC.; CAPUANO ENTERPRISES, INC., Defendants.
Subsequent History: As Amended, August 27, 2004
Prior History: [**1] APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF RHODE ISLAND. Hon. Mary M. Lisi, U.S. District Judge.
Rohm & Haas Co. v. Capuano, 301 F. Supp. 2d 156, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1849 (D.R.I., 2004)
district court, site, costs, remediation, response costs, groundwater, disposal, parties, cleanup, settlement, transporter, soil, damages, statute of limitations, hazardous waste, estimate, prejudgment interest, arranged, broker, dumped, declaratory judgment, hazardous substance, calculate, immunity, removal, equitable, settling, recovery of costs, responsible party, triggered
Environmental Law, Hazardous Wastes & Toxic Substances, CERCLA & Superfund, General Overview, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Time Limitations, Enforcement, Contribution Actions, Settlements, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Interpretation, Justiciability, Case & Controversy Requirements, Adverse Legal Interests, Immediacy, Judgments, Declaratory Judgments, Potentially Responsible Parties, Preclusion of Judgments, Res Judicata, Entry of Judgments, Consent Decrees, Voluntary Dismissals, Notice of Dismissal, Two Dismissal Rule, Dismissal, Business & Corporate Compliance, Cleanup Standards, Trials, Bench Trials, Clearly Erroneous Review, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Elements, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Settlement Agreements, Administrative Proceedings & Litigation, Consent Judgments, Settlements, Transportation Law, Carrier Duties & Liabilities, Hazardous Materials, Transportation, Transporters, Cost Recovery Actions, Strict Liability, Generators, Real Property Law, Torts, Arrangers, Operators & Owners, Water Rights, Groundwater, Remedies, Judgment Interest, Prejudgment Interest