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Raytheon Constructors, Inc. v. ASARCO, Inc.

368 F.3d 1214 (2003)

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Raytheon Constructors, Inc. v. ASARCO, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

368 F.3d 1214 (2003)

Facts

Raytheon Constructors, Inc. (Raytheon) (plaintiff) was found liable to ASARCO Incorporated (ASARCO) for 40 percent of the cleanup costs at the Rawley Mine and Rawley Mill (Rawley site) as an operator and arranger under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and as a joint tortfeasor under Colorado state law. Raytheon contended that ASARCO should not be able to recover most of its costs because ASARCO failed to conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) as required by the National Contingency Plan (NCP). ASARCO produced an initial work plan that collected the results of surface-water sampling and reviewed past studies. The initial work plan screened a variety of alternatives for the Rawley site cleanup. The alternatives were screened against six out of nine factors described in the NPC. The work plan contained two paragraphs comparing the costs of alternative remedies in very general terms, describing costs as high or low. The work plan devoted a little over one page to the comparison and selection of alternatives. The alternatives in the initial work plan were not screened against applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs). ASARCO argued that although it did not produce a RI/FS document, its initial work plan was the functional equivalent of a RI/FS.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Seymour, J.)

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