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United States v. Aceto Agricultural Chemicals Corp.

872 F.2d 1373 (1989)

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United States v. Aceto Agricultural Chemicals Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

872 F.2d 1373 (1989)

Facts

Aceto Agricultural Chemicals Corp. and seven other pesticide manufacturers (the manufacturers) (defendants) hired the formulator Aidex Corporation to convert their technical-grade pesticides into commercial-grade pesticides. The formulation process involved the generation of hazardous materials. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commenced efforts to clean up Aidex’s property that was contaminated with hazardous materials. The United States (plaintiff) brought suit against the manufacturers to recover response costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Conservation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The district court found the manufacturers fell within the class of responsible persons under CERCLA and were liable because they arranged for the disposal of hazardous waste. The manufacturers appealed, arguing that Aidex, not the manufacturers, was the owner of the hazardous materials and made the decisions on how it was disposed of or treated. The United States countered that the generation of hazardous waste was inherent in the pesticide formation process and the manufacturers’ ownership of the technical-grade pesticide, the work in process, and the commercial-grade product established the requisite authority to control Aidex’s operations.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Larson, J.)

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