NAPERVILLE, Ill. — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 27 upheld a lower court’s ruling that R.R. Street & Co. is not liable for contribution to perchlorethylene environmental cleanup costs under federal and California state laws, the company reports.
The Ninth Circuit held that equipment manufacturer Street’s was not liable as an “arranger of hazardous waste,” because it had not sold its product specifically for disposal of a hazardous substance.
In the 1980s, Team Enterprises, a large drycleaner in California’s central valley, disposed of contact wastewater containing perc by pouring it down the sewer drain. After finding perc in the soil, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board required cleanup.
Team consequently sued Street’s, along with other drycleaning equipment manufacturers and perc solvent producers, seeking financial contribution toward the cleanup. U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill exonerated Street’s of any contribution liability in August 2010, and Team appealed the decision.