High Court Rejects GE Case against Superfund Law

Date: June 7, 2011

Source: News Room

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider General Electric Company’s (GE) constitutional challenge to part of the federal Superfund law that gives the EPA power to order companies to clean up hazardous waste sites. The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that upheld a provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as the Superfund law, which seeks to ensure polluters pay for environmental hazards they created. GE, which has been subject to several cleanup orders, had argued that the law violated companies’ constitutional rights to due-process by denying them meaningful opportunity to contest EPA’s cleanup orders before the agency issued them. GE also argued that companies have little choice but to comply with a cleanup order because of prohibitively high costs of noncompliance. The U.S. Department of Justice opposed GE’s appeal. It said the law provided sufficient procedural safeguards and companies that refuse to comply with an order can get a federal court hearing. The high court refused to hear GE’s appeal of the case “General Electric v. Lisa Jackson, administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, No. 10-871” without comment.

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