Update on Liability Under CERCLA: Emerging Principles and Trends in PRP Liability

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

Conducted on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide environmental counsel with a review of recent court rulings on the liability of potentially responsible parties under CERCLA, including cases on divisibility, arranger, owner and operator liability, and related issues.


In 2006, the landmark Supreme Court decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. U.S. redefined standards for arranger liability and apportionment under CERCLA. Since then courts have endeavored to follow the Supreme Court's directive to conduct fact-intensive inquiries into all the circumstances surrounding a PRP's activities when determining the parties’ relative liability.

Listen as our authoritative panel reviews recent decisions such as United States v. Dico Inc. on arranger liability, Trinity Indus. Inc. v. Greenlease Holding Co. on allocation methodology, and TDY Holdings v. United States on government liability, as well as cases on owner and operator liability, the third-party defense and sovereign immunity. Relying on these cases, the panel will provide insight and tips for PRPs looking to maximize their recovery or minimize their liability.



  1. CERCLA liability: an overview
  2. Burlington Northern, Fox River and the "fact-intensive" inquiry
  3. Recent case law on potentially responsible parties
    1. Owners and operators
    2. Arrangers/generators
    3. Defenses available to PRPs
  4. Divisibility and allocation methodology
  5. Best practices


Participants will gain knowledge about:

  • Developing evidence to establish or refute liability as an owner, operator or arranger
  • Determining a reasonable basis for divisibility and allocation
  • Differing approaches to liability among federal circuit and district courts


Fellers, Denise
Denise G. Fellers

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Ms. Fellers focuses her practice on environmental law, with an emphasis on litigation relating to groundwater...  |  Read More

Kirn, Jillian
Jillian C. Kirn

Greenberg Traurig

Ms. Kirn focuses her practice on environmental and energy matters. She represents clients in litigation in state and...  |  Read More

Schiller, Suzanne
Shoshana Suzanne Ilene Schiller

Manko Gold Katcher & Fox

Ms. Schiller is a partner in the litigation group of the Philadelphia-area environmental and energy law firm of Manko...  |  Read More

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