Environmental Law: CERCLA essay sample

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Environmental Law: CERCLA

The present paper concentrates on the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act of 1980. The aims of the statute are highlighted. Apart from this, the role of CERCLA is identified.Environmental Law: CERCLA

The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA) was passed in 1980. It was a reaction to alarming waste management practiced in the 1970s. CERCLA regulates all substances which are considered as hazardous according to Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Air Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and CERCLA itself.

According to Jessica Hope (2013), the primary aim of CERCLA is the identification of sites with hazardous materials that are dangerous for the environment or public health being the result of spillages, leakages and just mismanagement which includes the absence of a proper plan of waste removal. One more purpose of CERCLA is tightly connected with the first aim and consists in identifying the responsible party. Another consequential aim of CERCLA is very important and presupposes maintaining a clean-up of a place where hazardous substances are found.

This aim includes ensuring the responsible party to share responsibility for the process of a clean-up.The purpose of guaranteeing cleanup responses is realized by CERCLA by means of either short-term removal actions or long-term remedial actions. Long-term actions connected with serious can be applied to those sites which are included in the US Environment Protection Agency’s National Priorities List. Removal actions are also called to realize CERCLA’s purposes, but unlike remedial actions, these ones are aimed at minimization, decrease, mitigation or elimination of the threat and can be applied not only to hazardous materials listed by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) but to other contaminants and pollutants as well, with the exclusion of gas and oil (Hope, 2013).

There is one more global fundamental purpose CERCLA is pursuing. It is clearly seen in the text of the act and its legislative history and runs as follows: to apply protection of human health and the environment from the hazards caused by contaminated rubbish dumps and other sites where pollution is traced. This crucial purpose have two logical subdivisions: CERCLA is aimed at cleaning up contaminated waste sites, empowering the EPA to provide an adequate and efficient response efficiently to spillages, leakages and other releases of toxic substances, and ensuring accountability of the parties responsible for the pollution by means of paying for a cleanup (Slaughter, Gates & Landreth, 2003).As Michael T. Olexa observes (2008), another important aim of CERCLA is the establishment of a tax on petroleum and chemical industries. The tax’s function includes supporting a special trust fund, which is called Superfund, created for providing a cleanup in the situations when it is impossible to identify responsible parties. More than that, one of CERCLA’s purposes is reporting of locations of the sites which contain hazardous substances to the US Environment Protection Agency.

In addition to that, a special notification is required as any release of hazardous materials into the atmosphere happens. CERCLA’s purpose …

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