Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

CERCLA and the Future of Liability-Based Environmental Regulation

CERCLA and the Future of Liability-Based Environmental Regulation - Law Review Symposium brochure imageSouthwestern Law Review
presents a symposium

CERCLA and the Future
of Liability-Based
Environmental Regulation

Friday, November 11, 2011
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Schedule and Registration Information

Co-Sponsored by
American Bar Association - Section of
Environment, Energy, and Resources

Los Angeles County Bar Association -
Environmental Law Section

Los Angeles County Bar Association - Litigation Section
State Bar of California - Environmental Law Section

Enacted in 1980, CERCLA takes a unique approach to federal environmental regulation. Unlike other major federal environmental statutes, CERCLA addresses soil and groundwater contamination through a tort-like liability scheme imposing joint and several, retroactive liability on broad classes of covered persons to clean up contaminated property. With billions of dollars in aggregate cleanup costs at stake, CERCLA has generated substantial and unrelenting litigation over the past three decades that will likely continue for years to come.

CERCLA presents challenging issues about the relationship between federal and state pollution laws on topics ranging from regulatory oversight to toxic torts. Some accuse CERCLA's broad liability scheme and remediation process requirements (the "national contingency plan") of fostering sprawl by discouraging in-fill property development. Others object to federal and state "brownfield" laws promoting more streamlined in-fill remediation on environmental justice grounds. The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions in Aviall, Atlantic Research and Burlington Northern raised new questions about the scope of CERCLA liability, the extent of public and private cost recovery rights, and incentives for polluters to settle CERCLA liabilities with regulatory authorities.

These timely issues address important concerns affecting industries, communities and regulators across the country; they also present bigger picture questions. Has CERCLA worked? Can it be improved? Should CERCLA's tort-like liability-based approach to environmental regulation be employed to address other environmental problems? This symposium will explore the impact of CERCLA on the current state of contaminated property law over the past 30 years and the future of liability-based environmental regulation.

Click here for the Schedule and Panel Descriptions.

  • Printable Brochure with complete agenda and registration information (PDF)
  • Printable Registration Form (PDF)

Registration Fees:

$75 -
Non-Southwestern Alumni CLE credit
$50 -

Southwestern Alumni and members of Co-Sponsoring Organizations* seeking CLE credit
$40 -
Those not seeking CLE credit
Complimentary for Southwestern students, faculty and staff, but RSVP required.
*Please denote organization membership as
affiliation when submitting registration/RSVP.

RSVP by November 4 to the Student Affairs Office
Please include your name, affiliation and registration fee category (see above) when emailing.

This Symposium offers 5.5 hours of CLE credit. Southwestern is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

For a map and directions to Southwestern, click here. Parking is available on campus for $8.

Questions? Contact the or the Law Review Office or the Student Affairs Office.