In Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, the Supreme Court will determine whether the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act preempts state common law claims for restoration damages for pollution also addressed by an EPA-directed cleanup plan. In this case, a Montana copper smelter polluted its neighbors’ properties for decades but has also spent $450 million to remediate this pollution under a plan negotiated with EPA. Believing Montana state law entitles them to more extensive restoration than the EPA plan provides, neighboring property owners sued Atlantic Richfield for trespass and nuisance, seeking restoration damages and other relief. Jonathan Wood and Corbin Barthold join us to discuss the oral argument in this case and its implications for CERCLA and property rights.
In this special, extended analysis episode, we have two guests. The first voice you will hear is Corbin Barthold, Senior Litigation Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation followed by Jonathan Wood, Senior Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation.
As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speakers.