Air & Waste Management Association to air 'webinar'

New audio/web conference from A&WMA Lake Michigan States Section to focus on "Contribution and Cost Recovery after Aviall" -- regarding a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that means companies can be forced to pay for environmental cleanups without being sued in court over the contamination. Event to be held April 12 from 2-4 p.m. EST...

DETROIT, MI, April 7, 2005 -- The Air & Waste Management Association will host a new audio/web conference entitled "Brave New World - Contribution and Cost Recovery After Aviall" that will focus on The event is sponsored by the A&WMA Lake Michigan States Section.

The session theme revolves around a U.S. Supreme Court decision in December 2004 in Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services. In the case, according to an online synopsis provided by www.oyez.org:

"Texas prodded Aviall Services to clean up contaminated property bought from Cooper Industries. Aviall sued in federal district court to force Cooper to pay some of the clean up costs. Aviall claimed it could sue Cooper under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Cooper admitted to being a potentially responsible party (PRP), but claimed it was not liable because Aviall was never sued to clean up the land and had no federal requirement to do so. The district court and a panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Aviall. The entire appellate court reversed and ruled CERCLA does not require a PRP to first be sued before seeking clean up funds from other PRPs."

The decision attacked all conventional wisdom on contribution and cost recovery actions under CERCLA, according to the A&WMA. By limiting the ability of private parties to bring contribution actions without first being subject to a civil action, the court invalidated years of CERCLA jurisprudence and left practitioners uncertain as to how and whether such actions could be brought in the future. The court's decision forces practitioners to rethink all elements of how a CERCLA matter should be addressed including how parties relate to state and federal governments in addressing contaminated sites, how parties consider voluntary remediation programs, and how parties structure transactions regarding any potentially contaminated property.

This presentation is intended to help environmental professionals understand the court's decision and how it affects environmental practice regarding contaminated property. The presentation will discuss the basis for the court's decision and the many ways it could affect court decisions on CERCLA issues. Presenters will also address several opinions, which have followed the Supreme Court's opinion, and how they will change remediation approaches. Finally, presenters will discuss alternative approaches and ways of thinking about CERCLA in the aftermath of Aviall.

The audio/web conference will be held Tuesday, April 12 from 2-4 p.m. EST [Eastern Standard Time].

The participating panel of experts, includes:
-- Eric E. Boyd, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP;
-- David L. Rieser, Esq., Partner, McGuireWoods LLP ; and
-- Jeffrey Wentz, Senior Project Manager, Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., will serve as moderator.

To learn more about registration and fees, contact A&WMA's Carrie Hartz at 412-232-3444 x3120 or see www.awma.org/events/WebConfs/CERCLA.asp

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