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United States v. Bestfoods
Citation:524 U.S. 51 (1998)
In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) was enacted in response to the serious environmental and health risks posed by industrial pollution. The Act grants the President broad power to command government agencies and private parties to clean up hazardous waste sites. In 1957, Ott Chemical Co. began manufacturing chemicals and its dumping of hazardous substances significantly polluted the environment. In 1965, respondent CPC International Inc. incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary to buy Ott I’s assets. The new company, Ott II, continued chemical manufacturing and polluting. CPC kept the managers of Ott I. By 1981, the federal Environmental Protection Agency had found that its long-term remedial plan called for expenditures well into the tens of millions of dollars. To recover some of that money, the United States filed this action, naming five defendants including CPC.
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