Hazardous Site Remediation Act: Judge upholds director’s administrative order.

Topic: Environmental Law, Decided by Judge Howells 
Docket Number: 1319286 , Decision Date: 2013-04-09 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, pursuant to his authority under Georgia’s Hazardous Site Remediation Act (“HSRA”), sought to enforce a previously-issued administrative order requiring Georgetown Athens, LLC to submit a compliance status report and a corrective action plan. Georgetown Athens disputed that it is a current owner and thus a responsible party under HSRA, because, first, it does not presently own the property and, second, it did not own the property at the time the dry cleaning chemicals were disposed of on the property.

Following oral argument on cross-motions for summary determination, the judge determined that Georgetown Athens was a current owner under the statute, because it owned the property at the time the property was re-listed on the Hazardous Site Inventory (“HSI”). In other words, current ownership status, for purposes of enforcing an administrative order through an administrative hearing, is determined by ownership at the time property is listed on the HSI.