In the CERCLA context, knowing whether a cleanup action is a “removal” or “remedial” action is crucial to the length of time allowed for the cleanup, the amount of money that may be spent on the cleanup, and the statute of limitations for recovery of costs incurred as part of the cleanup. Generally, the statute of limitations for the recovery of costs related to a removal action is three years from the date of completion of the removal action, whereas the statute of limitations related to a remedial action is six years after the initiation of physical on-site construction of the remediation – meaning contribution lawsuits must often be brought while a remedial action is on-going. The determination of whether an action is removal or remedial can, therefore, be dispositive on whether an action is time-barred.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Clarifies “Removal” vs. “Remedial” Action Under CERCLA