EEC Environmental helps public and private entities identify the primary responsible parties (PRPs) for sites classified under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Why CERCLA PRP Identification is Necessary
In accordance with CERCLA, the EPA enforces liabilities on parties responsible for a contaminated site’s remediation. The act (passed in 1980) establishes the EPA’s authority to identify parties liable for the uncontrolled disposal of hazardous waste and to respond to these issues. Before the enactment of CERCLA, it was unclear if the government had this authority.
CERCLA empowers the government to identify liable parties and levy costs against the entity for the remediation of the site.
EEC Environmental’s PRP Identification Expertise
A major part of CERCLA’s requirements is allocating costs to the PRPs. Before the cost allocation process can start, it’s important to identify which entities were responsible and what their liability is for the required cleanup activities.
EEC Environmental can assist public and private entities to find PRPs and conduct subsequent investigations including litigation support. This requires EEC Environmental to gather evidence that determines the liability based on the volume of waste at a site and the culpability of an entity’s contribution to the contamination.
PRP Identification Process
To determine who the PRPs are, EEC Environmental uses various methods to gather evidence.
These methods include:
- Historical document search and review.
- Investigating and sampling environmental media at the site.
- Conducting interviews with organizations and individuals.
- Issuing information request letters to entities.
- Researching title deeds and public records.
Besides issuing requests for information letters under CERCLA’s 104(e) rule, EEC Environmental can also assist with filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests against entities. We can also assist with legal support using the latest case law as ruled by U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals, or the U.S. Supreme Court.
During the PRP identification process, EEC Environmental will also determine:
- Types of parties involved (generator, owner, or operators).
- Any applicable exemptions or exclusions of a PRP.
- The potential defenses to which a PRP has recourse.
- The level of contribution to the waste present at the site.
- Any entity’s ability to pay the associated remediation costs.
Liability Criteria as Set by CERCLA
Not every site falls under the authority of CERCLA. According to section 107(a), some criteria should apply prior to a site’s designation as a Superfund.
The criteria include:
- Evidence of a release or a potential release of hazardous material.
- The release is from a facility into the environment.
- Remediating the release will incur costs.
- The entity falls within the class of persons listed in CERCLA section 107(a).
Similarly, the types of entities that EEC Environmental can identify include:
- The current owner or operator of the facility.
- The historical owner or operator of a facility at the time of the hazardous substance’s disposal.
- Any person who arranged for the disposal or treatment of the waste at the site.
- The person or entity who transported or chose the location of the disposal.
Identifying the Primary Responsible Parties for Superfund sites with EEC Environmental
EEC Environmental has extensive experience with helping state entities and public firms identify the PRPs for Superfund sites. With our team of environmental engineers, researchers, and scientists, EEC Environmental will assist with investigating ownership, historical operations, land-use histories, and corporate viability of a site.
For assistance with identifying the liable persons and PRPs of any Superfund site, get in touch with one of EEC Environmental’s experts today.