Manny Marcos


The Superfund Task Force recently released its final report on the implementation of its recommendations for improving the Superfund program. The Task Force was given five goals for improving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA’s”), implementation. These goals are to expedite cleanup and remediation, re-invigorate responsible party cleanup and reuse, encourage foreign investment, promote redevelopment and community revitalization, and engage with partners and stakeholders. While the Task Force’s recommendations have improved CERCLA’s implementation, many of CERCLA’s structural flaws remain intact. Specifically, CERCLA still has a severe shortage of funding, an unfair liability scheme, perverse incentives, due process concerns, excessive litigation costs for PRPs, and social justice concerns. To resolve these flaws, this Note proposes that the legislature take legislative and administrative action to remove the petroleum exclusion; reimpose and expand the superfund taxes; remove CERCLA’s retroactive, joint, and several liability scheme; create an independent board to evaluate CERCLA liability using the gore factors; create an objective and racially just NPL-placement policy and fines imposition policy, and engage with nonprofit organizations.