Is BP liable under the Superfund Law?

The short and quick answer is NO. BP is not liable for the spilled oil (petroleum products) under the Superfund Law because of the “Petroleum Exclusion” clause in the law.

Section 101(14) of the Superfund Law specifically excludes “petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof” from the definition of “hazardous substance”. You can only be liable under the Superfund Law if you release hazardous substances to the environment.

Now – does that mean BP is off the hook completely? Not at all. BP is liable under the Clean Water and the Oil Pollution Act – just to name a few environmental laws.

Read my earlier blog on BP’s potential liability.


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