Tippins Incorporated v. USX Corporation

37 F.3d 87 (1994)

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Tippins Incorporated v. USX Corporation

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
37 F.3d 87 (1994)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

Pursuant to a contractual arrangement, Tippins Incorporated (plaintiff) was required to contain a hazardous steel-manufacturing byproduct called electric-arc-furnace (EAF) dust. Tippins solicited bids from contractors to pick up and transport EAF dust for disposal and eventually contracted with Petroclean (defendant). Petroclean specialized in transporting and disposing hazardous substances. Petroclean initially identified one disposal facility that would accept EAF dust, but the facility’s requirements made it cost prohibitive. Petroclean then surveyed alternate disposal facilities, identified two viable options, contacted the facilities, gathered financial information, and presented the options to Tippins. Tippins chose Four County Landfill (Four County), and Petroclean transported EAF dust to Four County for disposal. Subsequently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a state environmental agency requested that Four County monitor and close the landfill. The EPA notified Tippins that Tippins was a potentially responsible party for clean-up costs due to environmental contamination at Four County. Tippins sued Petroclean under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for contribution and allocation of response costs. The district court found Petroclean liable as a transporter under CERCLA. On appeal, Petroclean argued that it could not be liable as a transporter because it did not select Four County as the disposal facility.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Becker, J.)

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