Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

The comprehensive environmental response, compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted in 1980 in the wake of growing public concern over the health risks associated with abandoned hazardous waste sites. Years ago, there was less understanding of the potential environmental, health, and safety threats posed by hazardous wastes that had been buried, abandoned, or disposed of in landfills. In the 1970s, the national media brought public attention to the plight of several residential communities impacted by abandoned wastes sites and there were calls for government action to address the problem.

Love Canal and other Hazards

The most famous abandoned waste site was known as Love Canal. In the 1940s, the Hooker Chemical Company had disposed of more than 20 tons of hazardous waste in a former canal ...

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