CERCLA: Federal vs. State Liability Protections, Defenses, and Due Care Obligations During Property Acquisitions

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, August 8, 2019

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, July 12, 2019

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will provide practical guidance to environmental counsel on the differences and similarities between federal and state liability protections under CERCLA, and best practices for choosing which programs to most effectively limit client exposure.


Both the federal and state governments administer a wide variety of statutory programs that impact the remediation of a contaminated site and whether remediation is voluntary or at the direction of the government. At a time of reduced federal focus, the EPA is amenable to defer CERCLA-eligible sites to state programs.

But these state programs often materially differ in terms of defenses and obligations, and counsel must navigate the legal, technical and practical aspects of contaminated site remediation projects under state cleanup programs. These projects encompass brownfield redevelopments through voluntary cleanup programs, and cleanups at active commercial and industrial facilities under state enforcement authorities.

Listen as our experienced panel discusses the complex elements of federal all appropriate inquiries (AAI) and reasonable steps, and compares these with their state law counterparts, many of which have no bona fide prospective purchaser defense for purchasers of a property with known contamination. The panel will also address strategies and options in deciding which programs to use.



  1. CERCLA overview
  2. Federal programs
  3. State regimes
  4. Strategic and practical considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key differences between federal CERCLA and state remediation programs?
  • What happens when state law addresses liability differently than federal law?
  • What are the best practices for evaluating which program provides the most robust protections?
  • How does a party conduct an "all appropriate inquiry"?
  • How does a purchaser qualify as a bona fide purchaser?
  • What are the most critical legal, technical and practical aspects of contaminated site remediation projects?
  • What are the most pressing emerging issues in environmental due diligence?
  • What are the most common similarities and differences between state and federal regulatory regimes?


Howland, Charles
Charles B. Howland

Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle

Mr. Howland is head of the firm’s Environmental Group. His work focuses on providing practical advice in the...  |  Read More

Roberts-Satinsky, Megan
Megan M. Roberts-Satinsky

Linowes and Blocher

Ms. Roberts-Satinsky counsels developers, builders, and residential and commercial property owners on environmental...  |  Read More

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