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3L Thomas Braun Writes Federal Lawyer Cover Story

NOVEMBER 1, 2011—An article by Law School student Thomas J. Braun (’12)—"Cleaning Up the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act: The Ambiguous Definition of 'Disposal' and the Need for Supreme Court Action"—has not just been published by The Federal Lawyer. It's the cover story of the October 2011 issue.

Braun discusses development of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) since it was enacted in 1980 to ensure cleanup of hazardous waste sites. He also describes the "polluter pays" liability scheme and the extensive litigation surrounding definition of the term "disposal." U.S. appellate courts are split on whether the term encompasses passive migration or requires an active human component.

CERCLA is one of the nation's most-used tools in enforcing proper disposal of hazardous waste, its cleanup, and payment for remediation. Interpretation of CERCLA and its terminology affects a wide range of industries and citizens. Braun says, and it's time for the U.S. Supreme Court to establish clarity.

"Thomas' paper was originally written for the environmental law capstone course on brownfields redevelopment and litigation that I teach with adjunct faculty member Sara Peterson," Professor Alex Klass explains. "We are so pleased that he was able to use his work in that course as a launching pad to develop expertise in this important area of law and make it available to such a wide audience through publication in The Federal Lawyer."

The Federal Lawyer is the publication of the Federal Bar Association and is dedicated to issues of interest to practitioners of federal law. Braun's article is available at http://www.fedbar.org/magazine.html.


Thomas Braun

Thomas Braun (’12)