• Disposal by Wind is not a Disposal
  • August 22, 2016 | Author: Steven L. Hoch
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Canadian mining company is not liable for environmental damage potentially caused by its operation in Canada that finds its way over the border due to the wind. The basis of the ruling is that the company, Teck Cominco Metals (“Teck”), was not an arranger under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The plaintiffs claimed that Teck can be held liable under CERCLA for pollution that travels through the air and lands on their property and referenced dictionary definitions that refer to natural forces slowly depositing layers of dirt or mud over time. Notwithstanding what the court felt was a reasonable position, it stated that it was bound to follow two prior decisions issued by the Ninth Circuit regarding the issue of disposal.