Settlements and CERCLA Contribution Claims--A Lesson in Careful Drafting
The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), better known as Superfund, provides private parties with two types of claims to recover costs associated with investigating and remediating contaminated sites—a cost recovery claim under CERCLA Section 107(a), 42 U.S.C. Section 9607(a), and a contribution claim under Section 113(f), 42 U.S.C. Section 9613(f). A party can have either a CERCLA Section 107 cost recovery claim, or a Section 113 contribution claim, but not both, as each section of CERCLA provides mutually exclusive remedies.