• Court Decides CERCLA’s Preemption Rule Applies to State Actions Only When Operative Facts Give Rise to Cause of Action under CERCLA
  • May 18, 2017 | Author: Jason Richard Gianvecchio
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act’s (CERCLA) discovery rule, which allows for federal preemption of state statutes of limitations, only applies when the operative facts of the state action can give rise to a cause of action under CERCLA. Blankenship v. Consolidation Coal Company 2017 WL 937467. In 1994, Defendant’s mining operations were being hampered by an accumulation of water, so Defendant reached an agreement with Beatrice Mine, which had been exhausted in 1972, to transfer the water from their mine to Beatrice Mine. Defendant applied for a revision of their mining permit with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. Defendant also published its notices of application in the local newspaper and filed the application for public view at the local courthouse. The application was approved and the “dewatering” activities ended in 2003.