USA v. Sterling Centrecorp Inc. et al

Filing 296

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)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL, 13 14 15 16 17 Plaintiffs, No. 2:08-cv–02556-MCE-JFM MEMORANDUM AND ORDER v. STERLING CENTRECORP INC., STEPHEN P. ELDER and ELDER DEVELOPMENT, INC., Defendants. 18 19 Both the United States and the California Department of Toxic Substances 20 (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs” or “government” unless otherwise 21 specified) have designated the former Lava Cap Mine, located in Nevada County, 22 California, as a Superfund site polluted by elevated levels of arsenic that were 23 disseminated through tailings and waste materials generated by mine operations. 24 Plaintiffs have undertaken cleanup efforts designed to remediate that arsenic 25 contamination. The present action, filed pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental 26 Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. § 9601, et seq. 27 (“CERCLA”), seeks contribution for the costs of those activities both from former owners 28 1 1 of the site and operators responsible for its mining. 2 Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, 3 filed February 8, 2016, as to Defendant Sterling Centrecorp Inc.’s statute of limitations 4 defense. By way of Sterling’s Twelfth Affirmative Defense as set forth in its Amended 5 Answer (ECF No. 33-2), Sterling asserts that the statute of limitations under Section 6 113(g)(2)(B) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9613(g)(2)(B), bars the recovery of a portion of 7 Plaintiffs’ costs associated with their investigation and removal activities at the Lava Cap 8 site. Plaintiffs move for summary judgment on grounds that because the removal 9 activities for which Plaintiffs incurred costs was a single, continuous process, their 10 lawsuit to recover removal costs, filed within three years after completion of said removal 11 action, was timely as a matter of law. 12 On March 17, 2016, Defendant Sterling filed a Statement of Non-Opposition to 13 Plaintiff’s Motion stating both that it does not oppose the Motion and that it “does not 14 assert a statute of limitations defense with respect to any of [Plaintiffs’ claimed] costs.” 15 ECF No. 282, 1:1-6. In light of that non-opposition, Sterling’s representation, and good 16 cause appearing, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to Defendant 17 Sterling’s Statute of Limitations Defense (ECF No. 267) is GRANTED.1 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: September 19, 2016 20 21 . 22 23 24 25 26 27 1 28 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). 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?