Document Type



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has interpreted section 113(f)(3)(B) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Cleanup, and Liability Act, or CERCLA, to only allow a party to seek contribution for claims resolved under CERCLA itself, rather than claims resolved under a state statute. In Trinity Industries, Inc. v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit broke from Second Circuit precedent by holding that section 113(f)(3)(B) does not require a settlement under CERCLA to permit a contribution action pursuant to CERCLA. This Comment argues that the Third Circuit’s interpretation of section 113(f)(3)(B) is a more accurate reading of the plain language of the statute, a better interpretation of the legislative history of the contribution provision, and more consistent with the policy goals of the CERCLA regime than the interpretation put forth by the Second Circuit.