In our last post, we spoke a bit about when a party can be held liable for cleanup of a contaminated site as well as the extent to which a potentially liable party can be held accountable. As we mentioned, though, there are some circumstances that can lead to reduced or no liability for a contaminating party.
Contamination that can be attributed to an “act of God” or an “act of war,” can limit or eliminate liability, as can contamination which is caused by a third party with no contractual relationship with the potentially responsible party. The latter situation is known as a third-party defense. In addition to these defenses, various exemptions exist for different parties, depending on the circumstances.