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Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA)

Last updated: September 30, 2018

What Does Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA) Mean?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is a law that was enacted by congress December 11, 1980 and is more commonly known as Superfund. This law provided authority to respond to release of hazardous substances that may be dangerous to the public as well as potential threats. This law has also created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and used collected funds to clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites.

Safeopedia Explains Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act (CERCLA)

CERCLA established prohibitions and requirements about closed and abandoned waste sites, provides for liability of people responsible for release of hazardous waste, and established a trust fund for cleanup. The law authorizes short and long term removal of threats. Short term removals address threats that require prompt response and long term remedies aim to permanently and significantly reduce threats that are serious, but not immediately life threatening. These actions may only be taken at places on the National Priorities List (NPL).


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