Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


Departing somewhat from the format of earlier environmental law survey articles, this Survey devotes substantial attention to a 1998 decision of the United States Supreme Court in a case that arose under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"). Although that case, United States v. Bestfoods, emerged from the Sixth Circuit, it will almost certainly have important ramifications for Eleventh Circuit jurisprudence in the area of CERCLA operator liability. Further, the case may signal a new conservative leaning by the Supreme Court that may extend beyond the narrow issue of that case to other questions arising under CERCLA.

In addition to discussing Bestfoods, this Survey also discusses a recent case that arose under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") and the Clean Water Act ("CWA"), as well as a recent case involving the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"). As with its more recent predecessors, this Survey will not provide a sketch of the broad statutory and regulatory schemes of these statutes; rather, it will refer to earlier survey editions for general overview as well as additional cases that address these laws.