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Tiger Stripe owns and operates gasoline filling stations. Patrick’s Trucking delivers fuel to Tiger Stripe’s storage facility on a regular basis

Tiger Stripe owns and operates gasoline filling stations. Patrick’s Trucking delivers fuel to Tiger Stripe’s storage facility on a regular basis. On one occasion, Patrick fails to pay proper attention to his truck when he is unloading fuel into Tiger Stripe storage tanks, and 1,000 gallons of fuel spills onto the ground. Soon after the spill, Tiger Stripe sells the storage facility to Roy’s Fueling Stations. The EPA determines that cleanup of the site is warranted. Under

a. CERCLA, Tiger Stripe, Patrick, and Roy’s are all potentially responsible parties.
b. FIFRA, Tiger Stripe, Patrick, and Roy’s are all potentially responsible parties.
c. CERCLA, Tiger Stripe, and Patrick are potentially responsible parties.

d. FIFRA, Tiger Stripe, and Patrick are potentially responsible parties.

Answer:

a. CERCLA, Tiger Stripe, Patrick, and Roy’s are all potentially responsible parties.

Explanation

Option (a) is correct: “CERCLA, Tiger Stripe, Patrick, and Roy’s are all potentially responsible parties.” Let’s break down the explanation:

CERCLA stands for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. This federal law addresses the cleanup of hazardous waste sites and assigns liability to potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the costs of cleanup. The term “potentially responsible party” refers to individuals or entities that may be held responsible for the release or disposal of hazardous substances at a contaminated site.

In the scenario you provided:

  1. Tiger Stripe: As the owner and operator of the gasoline filling stations, Tiger Stripe may be considered a potentially responsible party under CERCLA because it owned the storage facility where the fuel spill occurred.
  2. Patrick’s Trucking: Patrick, as the party responsible for delivering fuel to Tiger Stripe’s storage facility, may also be considered a potentially responsible party under CERCLA because the spill occurred during the unloading process.
  3. Roy’s Fueling Stations: Even though Roy’s Fueling Stations purchased the storage facility after the spill occurred, under CERCLA, subsequent property owners can also be held liable for contamination that occurred before they acquired the property. Therefore, Roy’s Fueling Stations could be considered a potentially responsible party.

So, under CERCLA, all three entities—Tiger Stripe, Patrick’s Trucking, and Roy’s Fueling Stations—are potentially responsible parties for the cleanup of the site where the fuel spill occurred.

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