U.S. Circuit Judge Dolores K. Sloviter has turned her August 2006 dissenting opinion in a closely watched environmental case into a unanimous opinion, finding that a recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court shows that she was right in arguing that the court should revive a suit brought by three polluters who wanted the government to contribute to the cost of their voluntary cleanups of 15 sites.
In its first opinion in E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co. v. United States, the 3rd Circuit held that a polluter that voluntarily takes on the duty to clean up a toxic waste site cannot later seek contributions from the federal government — even if the government itself was also a polluter at the site.
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