A federal district court recently entered summary judgment against a dry cleaner on a property owner’s CERCLA claim for past response costs and declaratory judgment claim regarding future response costs, and allowed the property owner’s RCRA claims to proceed to trial in Forest Park National Bank & Trust v. Ditchfield, 2012 WL 3028342, Case No. 10-C-3166 (N.D.Ill.July 24, 2012).
In 2009, a bank foreclosed on residential property that shared a boundary with a dry cleaning business that had operated for 35 years and had substantial tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene or perc, soil contamination. Had the bank performed due diligence and searched Illinois EPA’s online database before foreclosing on the property, it would have discovered that the dry cleaner voluntarily entered into IEPA’s Site Remediation Program 5 years earlier, in 2004. Instead, after foreclosing on the property, the bank hired an environmental consultant to conduct an environmental assessment of the eastern portion of the residential property closest to the dry cleaner.
To read more. please read Bill Wagner's recent blog post on Commonground.