The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the seller of used transformers containing PCBs had no CERCLA “arranger” liability for PCB contamination caused by the buyer of the used transformers. Consolidated Coal Co. v. Georgia Power Co., 781 F.3d 129 (4th Cir. 2015). The Court held that the seller could not be liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA because it had sold transformers with commercial value and had not intended that the transformers be “disposed of” rather than beneficially reused.
The Consolidated Coal holding is an important example of the fact-intensive nature of determining “arranger” liability under CERCLA. The 4th Circuit’s ultimate holding and its focus on the arms-length nature of the subject sales demonstrate the types of transactions courts will examine with greater scrutiny when determining “arranger” liability.
Read more detail about this case in an article I recently published