Ethan T. James

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Financial liability for remediation of polluted sites has been a matter of widespread public debate, legislation, and litigation in the United States for many years. Terms such as "leaking landfill" and "Superfund" are broadly recognized by the American public, and the retroactive strict liability of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) has become a familiar feature of the American legal landscape. This state of affairs is in stark contrast to that in Great Britain. To date, the British legal system has done very little to address the problem of financing remediation projects. While this lack of movement can in part be traced to an apathetic British public, such attitudes are changing. Plainly some changes in the British system will have to occur, if only to satisfy obligations under European Union (EU) directives. This Article proposes a comprehensive program for waste site remediation that applies lessons of the U.S. experience, along with potential EU obligations, to the existing statutory and common law framework in Great Britain.

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