USA v. Sterling Centrecorp Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER signed by District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr on 9/19/16 ORDERING Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Defendant Sterling's Statute of Limitations Defense (ECF No. 267 ) is GRANTED. (Becknal, R)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
and CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT
OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STERLING CENTRECORP INC.,
STEPHEN P. ELDER and ELDER
Both the United States and the California Department of Toxic Substances
(hereinafter collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs” or “government” unless otherwise
specified) have designated the former Lava Cap Mine, located in Nevada County,
California, as a Superfund site polluted by elevated levels of arsenic that were
disseminated through tailings and waste materials generated by mine operations.
Plaintiffs have undertaken cleanup efforts designed to remediate that arsenic
contamination. The present action, filed pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. § 9601, et seq.
(“CERCLA”), seeks contribution for the costs of those activities both from former owners
of the site and operators responsible for its mining.
Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment,
filed February 8, 2016, as to Defendant Sterling Centrecorp Inc.’s statute of limitations
defense. By way of Sterling’s Twelfth Affirmative Defense as set forth in its Amended
Answer (ECF No. 33-2), Sterling asserts that the statute of limitations under Section
113(g)(2)(B) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9613(g)(2)(B), bars the recovery of a portion of
Plaintiffs’ costs associated with their investigation and removal activities at the Lava Cap
site. Plaintiffs move for summary judgment on grounds that because the removal
activities for which Plaintiffs incurred costs was a single, continuous process, their
lawsuit to recover removal costs, filed within three years after completion of said removal
action, was timely as a matter of law.
On March 17, 2016, Defendant Sterling filed a Statement of Non-Opposition to
Plaintiff’s Motion stating both that it does not oppose the Motion and that it “does not
assert a statute of limitations defense with respect to any of [Plaintiffs’ claimed] costs.”
ECF No. 282, 1:1-6. In light of that non-opposition, Sterling’s representation, and good
cause appearing, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Defendant
Sterling’s Statute of Limitations Defense (ECF No. 267) is GRANTED.1
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: September 19, 2016
Because oral argument would not be of material assistance, the Court ordered this matter
submitted on the briefing in accordance with Eastern District Local Rule 230(g).
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