*Solicitations Editor, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 1999–2000.
1Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C.  9601 (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
2See Zygmunt J.B. Plater, et al., Environmental Law and Policy, Nature, Law, and Society 803 (2d ed. 1998).
3See 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
4See id.  9607(a)(4)(A), (B).
5See id.
6511 U.S. 809 (1994).
7146 F.3d 1166 (1998).
8See generally Key Tronic Corp. v. United States, 511 U.S. 809 (1994); United States v. Chapman, 146 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 1998).
9See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 819.
10See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1175.
11See infra IV.A-B.
12See Robert A. Mullins, The Aftermath of Key Tronic: Implications for Attorney’s Fee Awards, 24 Envtl. L. 1513, 1528 (1994).
13See Terry M. Miller, Comment, The Discretionary Award of Attorney’s Fees by the Federal Courts: Selective Deviations from the No-Fee Rule and the Regrettably Brief Life of the Private Attorney General Doctrine, 36 Ohio St. L.J. 588, 588 (1975).
14Arcambel v. Wiseman, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 306, 306 (1796).
15See Miller, supra note 13, at 591.
16See id. at 589.
17See Lora E. Keenan, Attorney Fees in Private Party Cost Recovery Actions Under CERLCA, 22 Ecology L.Q. 449, 451 (1995).
18See id. at 451–52.
19See id. at 451.
20See id. at 453.
21See id. (quoting Fleischmann Distilling Corp. v. Maier Brewing Co., 386 U.S. 714, 718 (1967)).
22See Miller, supra note 13, at 614.
23See id. at 612–13.
24Note, Awards of Attorney’s Fees to Legal Aid Offices, 87 Harv. L. Rev. 411, 413 (1973).
25See generally 421 U.S. 240 (1975).
26See Miller, supra note 13, at 646.
27See id. at 623.
28See Aleyska, 421 U.S. at 262.
29See id. at 260.
30See id. at 262.
31427 U.S. 160, 184 (1976).
32See id.
33See id. at 184–85.
34See id. at 185–86.
35See id.
36See Miller, supra note 13, at 596.
37See id.
38See id. at 596 n.72.
39See id.
40See id. at 599.
41See Miller, supra note 13, at 599.
42See Keenan, supra note 17, at 452–53.
43See Miller, supra note 13, at 599.
44See id.
45See Keenan, supra note 17, at 453.
46See id.
47See id.
48See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 803.
49See id.
50See Keenan, supra note 17, at 458. CERCLA was already on its way to being drafted before the residents of Love Canal were exposed to carcinogenic wastes. See William H. Rodgers, Jr., Environmental Law 682 (2d ed. 1994). However, few, if any, would refute that such incidents led to CERCLA’s passage. See id. “Love Canal” was a community of approximately 100 homes and a school, built upon a site contaminated with toxic wastes. See United States v. Hooker Chems. & Plastics Corp., 680 F. Supp. 546, 549 (W.D.N.Y. 1988). The company that sold the sixteen acres to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for one dollar, Hooker Chemicals and Plastics Corporation, acknowledged that it had buried chemicals on the site and covered them with clay. See Lana Knedlik, Comment, Attorney’s Fees in Private Party Cost Recovery Actions Under CERCLA: The Key Tronic Decision, 44 U. Kan. L. Rev. 365, 366 (1996). The deed transferring ownership to the Board of Education stated that Hooker would be free of any liability for injuries resulting from exposure to the chemicals. See id. Twenty-five years later, in 1978, heavy rains caused the chemicals, many carcinogenic, to seep into nearby basements. See id. The government spent approximately $140 million to clean the site. See id.
51Frank P. Grad, A Legislative History of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability (“Superfund”) Act of 1980, 8 Colum. J. Envtl. Law 1, 1 (1982). In the Ninety-sixth Congress, the bills that contributed to the Act were H.R. 7020, H.R. 85, and S. 1480. See id. at 2.
52See id.
53See id. at 1.
54See id.
55See id.
56Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Pub. L. No. 99–499, 100 Stat. 1613 (codified as amended 42 U.S.C.  9601–9675 (1994 & Supp. II 1996)).
57See Keenan, supra note 17, at 459.
58See Kenneth F. Rossman IV, Casenote, Key Tronic Corp. v. United States: Ratifying an Inequitable Distribution of Private Party Costs Under Superfund by Refusing to Shift Attorney’s Fees, 4 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 113, 117 (1995).
59See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 368.
60See H.R. Rep. No. 96–1016, pt. 1, at 17 (1980), reprinted in 1980 U.S.C.C.A.N. at 6119–20; see also Knedlik, supra note 50, at 367.
61See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 807–08. Plater points out that Congress removed references to strict liability and joint and several liability as a compromise in order to pass CERCLA. See id. Courts uniformly have held that CERCLA at least allows joint and several liability, and some have held that it should be imposed unless the defendant can establish a reasonable basis for apportionment. See id. at 808.
62See 42 U.S.C.  9613(f)(1) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
63See Rossman, supra note 58, at 117–18.
64See 42 U.S.C.  9606(a).
65Id.  9615.
66See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 838.
67See 42 U.S.C.  9604.
68See id.
69See 42 U.S.C.  9611 (1994 & Supp. II 1996). Originally, tax-supported funding for the Hazardous Waste Response Fund (“Superfund”) was to end in 1985, but SARA re-funded it. See Keenan, supra note 17, at 459.
70See 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
71See id.  9613(f)(1), 9607(a)(4)(B).
72See Rossman, supra note 58, at 118. However, Plater notes that the entire process can take nearly twelve years between release and de-listing. See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 843.
73See Rossman, supra note 58, at 118.
74See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 841.
75See 42 U.S.C.  9605(a)(8) (1994 & Supp. II 1996); see also Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 841.
76See 42 U.S.C.  9605(a)(8); see also Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 841.
77See 42 U.S.C.  9605(a)(8).
78Id.
79See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 835 n.15.
8042 U.S.C.  9605(a) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
81See id.  9605 (a)(1)-(7).
82See id.  9601(23), (24).
83See City of New York v. Exxon Corp., 633 F. Supp. 609, 614 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) (citing New York v. Shore Realty Corp., 759 F.2d 1032, 1040 (2d Cir. 1985).
84See Rodgers, supra note 50, at 687.
85See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 368.
86See 42 U.S.C.  9606(a) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
87See id.  9607(a)(1)-(4), 9615.
88See id.  9611.
8942 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A).
90See id.  9604(b), 9607(a)(1)-(4).
91See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 809.
92See id. at 863 n.46. Plater remarks that CERCLA does not explicitly provide for strict, joint and several liability among PRPs. See id. at 807–08. All courts, however, uniformly have held CERLCA does impose such liability. See id. If the government seeks to recover its response costs, a PRP stands to be held liable for all those costs. See id. at 863. Thus, it may need to seek contribution from other PRPs. See id. Although CERCLA also does not explicitly provide for indemnification, Plater suggests it is available through common law doctrines. See id. n.46. CERCLA does provide for contribution in section 113(f). See 42 U.S.C.  9613(f)(1) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
93See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 369.
9442 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(B).
95See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 369.
96See Plater, et al., supra note 2, at 803.
9742 U.S.C.  9607(a)(1)-(4).
98See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 367.
9942 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A)-(B).
100See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 369.
101See 42 U.S.C. 9601(25). “The terms ‘respond’ or ‘response’ means [sic] remove, removal, remedy, and remedial action;, [sic] all such terms (including the terms ‘removal’ and ‘remedial action’) include enforcement activities related thereto.” Id. Therefore, the difference between “costs of removal or remedial action” in subsection (A) and “costs of response” in subsection (B) is insignificant. See id.  9607(a)(4)(A)-(B).
102Compare 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A) (“all costs of removal or remedial action incurred by the . . . Government . . . not inconsistent with the national contingency plan”) with id.  9607(a)(4)(B) (“any other necessary costs of response incurred by any other person consistent with the national contingency plan”).
103See 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A).
104Id.  9607(a)(4)(B).
105See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 369.
10642 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
107See id.  9607(a)(4)(B).
108See New York v. General Elec. Co., 592 F. Supp. 291, 304 (N.D.N.Y. 1984) (stating that defendant carries burden of proof to show government’s costs were inconsistent with NCP). But see Bulk Distrib. Ctrs. Inc. v. Monsanto Co., 589 F. Supp. 1437, 1444 (S.D. Fla. 1984) (stating that government bears burden of proving costs not inconsistent with NCP).
109See J. Christopher Jordan, Note, Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Private Contribution Actions Pursuant to CERCLA Section 107(a)(4)(B), 10 Rev. Litig. 823, 827 (1991).
110See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 370.
111511 U.S. 809 (1994).
112146 F.3d 1166 (1998).
113See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 811.
114See id.
115See id.
116See id. at 812.
117See id.
118See Key Tronic Corp. v. United States, 766 F. Supp. 865, 868 (E.D. Wash. 1991).
119See 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(B) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
120Id.  9601(25).
121See Key Tronic, 766 F. Supp. at 872.
122See id.
123See id.
124See Key Tronic Corp. v. United States, 984 F.2d 1025, 1028 (9th Cir. 1993).
125See id. at 1027.
126See id. (citing Stanton Road Assocs. v. Lohrey Enterps., 984 F.2d 1015 (9th Cir. 1993)).
127See id. at 1028.
128See Key Tronic Corp. v. United States, 511 U.S. 809, 815 (1994).
12942 U.S.C.  1601(25) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
130Id.
131See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 815–16.
132See id.
133See id. at 814–15.
134See id. at 812.
135See generally Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 816–21.
136See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 818; see also 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(B) (stating that “costs of response” are recoverable by private party); id. 9601(25) (stating that “response” includes “enforcement activities”).
137See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 816.
138See id. at 818.
139See id. at 819.
140See id. at 818–19.
141See 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(B) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
142See, e.g., id.  9610(c) (“Whenever an order is issued under this section to abate such violation, at the request of the applicant a sum equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorney’s fees) determined by the Secretary of Labor. . . .”).
143Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 818–19.
144See id. at 819.
145See id.
146See id. at 820.
147See id. at 820–21 (citing FMC Corp. v. Aero Industries, Inc., 998 F.2d 842, 847 (1993)).
148See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 820–21.
149See id.
150See id.
151See id.
152See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. 809 at 820–21.
153See id.
154See id.
155See id. at 817–18. The remedial purpose canon of construction is discussed more fully infra Part IV.A.2.
156See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 819.
157See John R. Casciano, Comment, Key Tronic Corporation v. United States: A New Standard Narrows the Scope of the American Rule as Applied to CERCLA Private Contribution Actions, 30 New Eng. L. Rev. 407, 433–34 (1996).
158See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 822 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part).
15942 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(B) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
160See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 824 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part). Justice Scalia supported his contention with CERCLA’s language and structure. See id. For example, section 107(a)(4)(D) refers to “amounts recoverable in an action under this section.” See id. (paraphrasing 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(D)). Also, section 113 refers to a “civil action . . . under section [107(a)].” See id. at 822 (citing 42 U.S.C.  9613(f)(1)).
161See id. at 823 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part). Scalia discussed the need to satisfy Runyon v. McRary, 427 U.S. 160, 185 (1976), which requires a determination that Congress intended to shift fees. See id. at 823. Scalia argued that Congress needs to be explicit, not to incant any magic phrase. See id.
162See id. at 824 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part). Justice Scalia acknowledged that “enforcement” usually sounds in governmental prosecution, but argued that such an interpretation is not exclusive. See id. For example, Scalia argued, lawyers and courts often refer to “enforceable contracts” and the Clayton Act has been described as “a vehicle for private enforcement of the law” in Cargill, Inc. v. Monfort of Colorado, Inc., 479 U.S. 104, 109 (1986). Id. Moreover, argued Scalia, the “private enforcement” label seems appropriate in section 107 because plaintiffs under that section have to be consistent with the NCP. See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 824 (Scalia, J., dissenting) (citing 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(B)).
163See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 821 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part).
164See id. at 824.
16542 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
166See Key Tronic, 511 U.S. at 819.
167See id.
168146 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 1998).
169Id. at 1168.
170See id.
171See id.
172See id.
173See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1168.
174See id.
175See id.
176See id.
177See id. at 1169.
178See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1169.
179See id.
180See id.
181See id.
182See id.
183See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1169.
184See id.
185See id.
186See id.
187See id.
188See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1169.
189See id.
190See id. at 1173.
191See id. The district court held that the government was entitled to attorneys’ fees attributable to litigating the recovery action. See id.
192See id. at 1176. Although agreeing with the district court that EPA could recover its attorneys’ fees, the circuit court vacated the district court’s award and remanded it for a test of reasonableness. See id.
193See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1173 (citing Runyon v. McRary, 427 U.S. 160, 185 (1976) and Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. v. Wilderness Society, 421 U.S. 240, 247 (1975)).
194See id. at 1173–74 n.8.
19542 U.S.C.  9601(25) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
196See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1174.
197See id.
19842 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
199Id.  9604(b).
200See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1174.
201See id.
202See id. at 1175 (quoting Washington Dep’t of Transp. v. Washington Natural Gas Co., Pacificorp, 59 F.3d 793, 799 (9th Cir. 1995)).
203See id.
204See id.
205See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1175.
206See id. at 1175–76.
207See id. at 1176.
208See id.
209See id.
210See generally 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A), 9604(b) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
211Id.  9607(a)(4)(A).
212Id.  9601(23). “Remove” means:
the cleanup or removal of released hazardous substances into the environment, such actions as may be necessary to monitor, assess, and evaluate the release of hazardous substances, the disposal of removed material, or the taking of such other actions as may be necessary to prevent, minimize, or mitigate damage to the public health or welfare or to the environment, which may otherwise result from a release or threat of release. The term includes, in addition, without being limited to, security fencing, or other measures to limit access, provision of alternative water supplies, temporary evacuation and housing of threatened individuals not otherwise provided for, action under section 9404(b) [CERCLA section 104(b)] of this title, and any emergency assistance which may be provided under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Id.
213Id.  9604(b) (stating “the President may undertake such planning, legal, fiscal, economic, engineering, architectural, and other studies or investigations as he may deem necessary or appropriate to plan and direct response actions, to recover the costs thereof, and to enforce the provisions of this chapter”).
214Id.  9601(23).
215See 42 U.S.C.  9604(b) (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
216Id.
217See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1175.
218See 42 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A) (1994 & Supp. II 1996); see also Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1175.
21942 U.S.C.  9607(a)(4)(A).
220Id.  9601(25).
221See B.F. Goodrich v. Betkoski, 99 F.3d 505, 528 (2d Cir. 1996), cert. denied sub nom., Zollo Drum Co. v. B.F. Goodrich Co., 118 S.Ct. 2318 (1998).
222See Mullins, supra note 12, at 1530.
223See id.
224See id.
225See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1175.
226See Key Tronic Corp. v. Unites States, 511 U.S. 809, 815 (1994) (stating that “absence of specific reference to attorney’s fees is not dispositive if the statute evinces an intent to provide for such fees”); see also id. at 823 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part) (Congress need not incant the magic phrase “attorney’s fees”).
227See id. at 823 (Scalia, J., dissenting in part).
228Blake A. Watson, Liberal Construction of CERCLA Under the Remedial Purpose Canon: Have the Lower Courts Taken a Good Thing Too Far?, 20 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 199, 262–63 (1996).
229See id. at 201.
230Rudolph H. Heimanson, Remedial Legislation, 46 Marq. L. Rev. 216, 216 (1962). Delineating which statutes are “remedial” is the source of much scholarship. See, e.g., id.; Richard A. Posner, The Federal Courts: Crisis and Reform 289 (1985); Max Radin, Statutory Interpretation, 43 Harv. L. Rev. 863, 869–81 (1930); Antonin Scalia, Assorted Canards of Contemporary Legal Analysis, 40 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 581, 583 (1989–1990). An in-depth discussion of these theories, however, is beyond the scope of this Comment.
231See David L. Shapiro, Continuity and Change in Statutory Interpretation, 67 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 921, 936–38 (1992).
232See id. at 938. For example, courts have invoked the canon when construing laws enacted to protect the public against socially detrimental business practices, such as antitrust, securities, and unfair competition. See Watson, supra note 228, at 236–37.
233See Watson, supra note 228, at 238–40.
234See id.
235See, e.g., Key Tronic Corp. v. United States, 766 F. Supp. 865, 871 (E.D. Wash. 1991), rev’d, 984 F.2d 1025 (9th Cir. 1993), aff’d, 511 U.S. 809 (1994). The District Court in Key Tronic characterized CERCLA as “a remedial statute designed by Congress to protect and preserve public health and the environment.” Id.
236See Watson, supra note 228, at 262–63.
237See, e.g., United States v. Northeast Pharmaceutical & Chem. Co. (NEPACCO), 810 F.2d 726, 733 (8th Cir. 1986), cert. denied 484 U.S. 848 (1987) (providing a structural justification for the use of the remedial purpose canon in CERCLA cases by concluding that the statutory scheme itself is “overwhelmingly remedial”); United States v. Reilly Tar & Chem. Corp., 546 F. Supp. 1100, 1112 (D. Minn. 1982) (reading CERCLA aggressively by holding that it should be given a broad and liberal construction to give effect to Congress’ desire for a prompt and effective remediation of hazardous waste sites).
238See Watson, supra note 228, at 271–72.
239NEPACCO, 810 F.2d at 733.
240See Watson, supra note 228, at 271–72.
241See supra note 60 and accompanying text.
242See B.F. Goodrich v. Murtha, 697 F. Supp. 89, 94 (D. Conn. 1988).
243See Watson, supra note 228, at 271.
244See William Murray Tabb & Linda A. Malone, Environmental Law: Cases and Materials 637 (1992). The authors note that:
[t]he Act is distinctive in the spectrum of federal environmental protective legislation in that the principal focus is remedial and corrective rather than regulatory. CERCLA does not set standards for prospective compliance by industry but essentially is a tort-like, backward-looking statute designed to cleanup expeditiously abandoned hazardous waste sites and respond to hazardous spills and releases of toxic wastes into the environment.
Id.
245See id.; see also United States v. Northeast Pharmaceutical & Chem. Co. (NEPACCO), 810 F.2d 726, 733 (8th Cir. 1986), cert. denied 484 U.S. 848 (1987) (citing retrospective nature of CERCLA as main reason to characterize as “overwhelmingly remedial”); New York v. Shore Realty Corp., 759 F.2d 1032, 1041 (2d Cir. 1985) (stating that “CERCLA is not a regulatory standard-setting statute such as the Clean Air Act”).
24642 U.S.C.  6901–6992 (1994 & Supp. II 1996).
247See United States v. Alcan Aluminum Corp., 964 F.2d 252, 263 n.19 (3d Cir. 1992) (acknowledging that CERCLA is remedial while RCRA is regulatory).
248See Watson, supra note 228, at 290. The leading Senate bill under consideration was expressly characterized as “remedial legislation.” S. Rep. No. 96–848, 96th Cong. 2d Sess. 36, 37 (1980), reprinted in 1 Legislative History of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund) 343, 344 (Comm. Print 1983) [hereinafter CERCLA Legislative History].
249See Watson, supra note 228, at 290–91.
250126 Cong. Rec. 31,965 (Dec. 3, 1980) (statement of Rep. Florio), reprinted in 1 CERCLA Legislative History at 779.
251See Dennis J. Byrne, Note, Stanton Road Associates v. Lohrey Enterprises: The American Rule Precludes an Award of Attorney’s Fees in Private-Party CERCLA Cost Recovery Actions, 24 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 577, 586 (1994).
252See Casciano, supra note 157, at 411–12 (1996) (stating that SARA amendments created an express cause of action for private parties).
253See Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Pub. L. No. 99–499, 100 Stat. 1613 (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C.  9601–9675 (1994 & Supp. II 1996)).
254See 42 U.S.C.  9601(25).
255See H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 962, 99th Cong., 2d Sess. 185 (1986), reprinted in 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N. 2835, 3278.
256See, e.g., 42 U.S.C.  9659(f) (1994 & Supp. II 1996) (providing for “reasonable attorney and expert witness fees” to prevailing party).
257See Key Tronic Corp v. United States, 511 U.S. 809, 823 (1994) (Scalia, J., dissenting in part).
258See id.
259See id. at 817.
260Cf. Keenan, supra note 17, at 473 (arguing that shifting fees in private party response cost recovery actions furthers CERCLA’s two main goals).
261See Alyeska Pipeline Serv. Co. v. Wilderness Soc’y, 421 U.S. 240, 263 (1975).
262See Knedlik, supra note 50, at 386.
263See id. at 385.
264See id.
265See United States v. Chapman, 146 F.3d 1166, 1175 (9th Cir. 1998).
266See id. at 1175–76.
267See id.
268Knedlik, supra note 50, at 386.
269See id.
270See Chapman, 146 F.3d at 1176 (stating that “[fee shifting] might even encourage responsible parties not to pollute and contaminate property in the first place”).
271See Mullins, supra note 12, at 1532.
272See id.