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Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)

Also known as the “Superfund” law, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted in 1980 and, among other things, gave the federal government the ability to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, and to pursue polluters (“responsible parties”) or potential polluters (“potentially responsible parties”) for the cleanup of contaminated sites.

CERCLA created the need to conduct “all appropriate inquiry” prior to a property transaction to qualify for exemption from CERCLA liability for cleanup costs.

CERCLA was amended by the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in 1986.

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