Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Facing hundreds of millions of dollars in hazardous-waste cleanup costs, General Electric asked a U.S. federal court yesterday to declare the Superfund law unconstitutional. In its lawsuit, the company contends that the law gives the U.S. EPA “uncontrolled authority to order intrusive” cleanups of “unlimited scope.” It also claims the law violates the Constitution’s due-process requirement by not providing for fair judicial review after the U.S. government orders companies to begin cleanups. The move by the company comes only two weeks before the EPA is expected to order G.E. to dredge about 35 miles of the Hudson River in New York; a 197-mile section of the river has been named a Superfund site because of PCB contamination that came from two G.E. plants over 30 years. Enviros described G.E.’s lawsuit as an 11th-hour attempt to avoid cleaning up the river.