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CERCLA Statute of Limitations, Preemption, and Allocation: Latest Developments in Superfund and Environmental Litigation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance and case studies for counsel on CERCLA statute of limitations (including removal vs. remedial measures and cost recovery vs. contribution claims), preemption, and allocation dynamics. The expert panel will also offer "in the trenches" strategies related to managing timing, choice of courts, and allocation challenges in Superfund and environmental litigation.


Litigation to assign and apportion contamination cleanup costs among private and public parties under CERCLA raises some of the most complex issues in environmental law. Plaintiffs and defendants must navigate a growing and conflicting body of law regarding the timeliness of cost recovery and contribution actions to determine whether a three-year or six-year limitations period applies, and what event triggers which limitations period.

This webinar will explain the current state of the law on these issues and recent case law that underscores the challenge of classifying environmental work as removal or remedial in nature and the implications of such a classification on whether a lawsuit is timely.

Another fundamental timing issue under CERCLA is the extent to which the statute's preemption of state accrual dates for contamination lawsuits extends to state statutes of repose. The Supreme Court's ruling in Waldburger held that CERCLA does not preempt a state statute of repose, but only preempts state statutes of limitations in environmental tort cases.

Finally, allocation of liability and response costs among responsible parties remains a dynamic and fact-intensive process that will put litigation skills to the test. The panel will outline related foundational law and its nuances and detail case studies illustrating allocation opportunities and pitfalls.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental attorneys provides practitioners on both the plaintiffs' and defendants' sides guidance on how to approach CERCLA statute of limitations, preemption, and allocation issues.



  1. Statute of limitations under Section 107
  2. Statute of limitations under Section 113
  3. Preemption of state statutes of limitation and repose
  4. Apportionment of liability and response costs


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • When should a response action be considered a remedial or removal action?
  • What steps can counsel take to leverage the federal accrual date for an environmental tort claim, whether governed by a statute of limitations or repose, or both?
  • What best practices can counsel employ to reduce CERCLA liability early in the litigation?
  • How can the allocation battle be won from discovery through trial?


Brown, Kegan
Kegan A. Brown

Lowenstein Sandler

Mr. Brown represents clients throughout the full lifecycle of complex environmental and product liability litigations...  |  Read More

Rockman, David
David A. Rockman

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott

Mr. Rockman counsels clients in managing environmental compliance and environmental risks to meet their legal...  |  Read More

Thurlow, Matthew
Matt Thurlow

Partner, Co-Chair Environmental Team
Baker & Hostetler

Mr. Thurlow is an environmental litigator with significant experience in environmental matters brought under the Clean...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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