DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Quiz2 Environmental Law and Regulations Spring 2015 Cercla, OPA, and Wetlands Regulations 

Student Name: Hayle Clark

Date: 4/17/2015_



  1. _____What does CERCLA stand for?

    CERCLE stands for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. It is known as a Superfund and was enacted by congress on December 11, 1980.  


  2. _____ True or False. The focus of CERCLA is to locate, investigate and clean up the worst sites nationwide and is commonly known as the Superfund.



  3. _____ True or False. CERCLA established prohibitions and requirements concerning hazardous waste sites to eliminate chemical use.



  4. _____Federal guidelines and procedures needed to respond to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants are covered in the NCP. What is the


    The NCP is the National Contingency Plan which provides the guidelines and producers needed to respond to the release and threatened release of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminant.  


  5. _____ True or False. Sites that qualify for remedial actions under Superfund are listed on the National Polluted sites List.



  6. _____True or False. The Hazard Ranking System is the principal mechanism EPA uses to place uncontrolled waste sites on the NPL.



  7. _____True or False. CERCLA authorizes two categories of response actions: Short-term removals and long-term remedial response actions



  8. _____True or False. In CERCLA’s basic liability provisions, the EPA may seek a judicial order requiring a liable party to abate an endangerment to public health, welfare and the environment



  9. Under the basic EPA enforcement policy of “enforcement first”,

    ___________________________ are required to clean-up sites before Superfund monies are used.

    This policy is embodied with the “polluter pays” principle which seeks the need for the parties responsible for the contamination of a site. They may be able to negotiate a cleanup agreement with the people responsible. If neither of the sides can come to an agreement about the cleanup then the EPA can issue an order of legal action with requires the cleanup sits superfund monies trust fund. When this happens the action is referred to as “enforcement-lead or PRP-Lead” action.


  10. _____ True or False. When determining the appropriate level of cleanup at a Superfund site, levels of acceptable risk and the threshold criteria regarding overall protection of human health and the environment are secondary considerations to the economic scope of the cleanup.



  11. Does the CT DEP have any say whatsoever in remediation of hazardous waste sites and Superfund sites? Is there a difference between the two (Superfund and RCRA sites)?

    CERCLA and RCRA are two programs that are similar. Both programs have a primary purpose which is to protect human health and the environment. RCRA has a pollution prevention regulatory focus. This is used with waste reduction and controls of waste from the moment of generation to the disposal. CERCLA is the program that authorizes the cleanup of the waste. Sites can be known by DEEP that poses threat to the environment or the public health. The sites that have a specific issue that needs to be solved will go the commissioner of the DEEP and it will require investigation to find the source of the pollution. But after RCRA and CERCLA take over the issue the DEEP doesn’t have much to say whatsoever.


  12. _____True or False. OPA 90 provides guidance for government and industry regarding oil spill prevention, mitigation, cleanup and liability.



  13. _____True or False. States do not have any authority to establish law governing oil spill prevention and response.



  14. OPA 90 improved the nation's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills by establishing provisions that expanded the Federal government's ability to: Circle the answer that does NOT (a) apply.To direct and manage oil spill cleanup operations.

  1.  To reduce the number of spills followed by reducing the quantity of oil spilled.

  2. To reduce the liability of vessels and facilities involved with bulk oil transfer.

    (d) To provide monies and resources necessary for responding to oil spills.

    (C) To reduce the liability of spills followed by reducing the quantity of oil    spilled



  1. _____True or False. The responsible party for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged is liable for removal costs incurred in a manner consistent with the National Contingency Plan.



  2. _____True or False. The six categories of compensatory damages from oil spills are: Natural resources; real or personal property; subsistence use; revenues; profits and earning capacity; public services.



  3. _____True or False. Under OPA, there are no exceptions to the CWA liability provisions or defenses to liability.



  4. _____True or False. Payments for liability through insurance contracts or indemnification to a responsible party are illegal under the provisions of OPA.



  5. _____True or False. The National Contingency Plan or NCP is the federal government's blueprint for responding to both oil spills and hazardous substance releases.



  6. _____True or False. A primary purpose of response plans under OPA is to ensure the establishment of spill contingency plans for all areas of the U.S.



  7. _____True or False. Violators can not be fined for failing to notify the appropriate Federal agency of a discharge because OPA only allows for civil penalties to be levied.




  8. Describe what are wetlands in CT.

    The DEEP identifies wetlands and watercourses as marshes, swamps, rivers, brooks, ponds, and lakes. The CT Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Act defines wetlands by soil type. The soil types of wetlands are poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial, and floodplain. Saltwater and freshwater wetlands cover five per cent of Connecticut’s total land area.  


  9. Describe what wetlands are in MA.

    Wetlands are part of our “common wealth”. They contribute to public health and safety, for the community. Wetlands protect drinking water, prevent storm damage, and provide fish, shellfish, and wildlife habitats. Coastal wetlands are directly adjacent to the ocean. Inland wetlands are areas where water is at or just below the surface of the ground. Wetlands contain enough water to support certain plants and soil. Inland wetlands include marshes, wet meadows, bogs and swamps. Wetlands that border on ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams, are called bordering vegetated wetlands.




  10. What is the difference between the 2 states? What do we call the CT wetlands regulation in this state?

    In Massachusetts, wetlands are identified on the basis of their hydrologic characteristics, and vegetation which is used to identify the presence and location of swamps, marshes, wet meadows, and other types of vegetated wetlands. Soil characteristics that reflect saturated soil conditions at or near the ground surface are also used. Connecticut’s definition of inland wetlands is based on soil characteristics. In contrast the federal clean water act definitions for wetlands is based on a three- part criteria: 1) soil characteristics 2) Hydrophytic vegetation and 3) hydrology. Under Connecticut’s definition of wetlands 17% of the state’s land area is comprised of wetlands, whereas under the federal definition only roughly half of this same area would be classified as wetlands. CT’s wetland regulation is called the Inland Water Resource Division, and it regulates activities undertaken by state agencies in or affecting inland wetlands.


  11. How many commissions are in the state of CT?




23.              http://www.ctwetlandslaw.com/2010/07/state-appellate-court-upholdsold.html?m=1


Please go to this link and describe what the important factors were that won this court case. Why are those factors important? Provide at least 2 paragraphs. Cite any sources used. 

            Old Saybrooks’s denial of wetlands permit for gold course in coastal forest, in May 2004 there were many facts that were going against them. The first thing about the golf course was an issue of numerous conditions. If one of the conditions is illegal then it would require the preserve to post $300,000 fund for just damages alone to drinking water wells due to pesticides. When the DEEP argued the problem the trail judge ruled that there was no authority in the wetlands act to impose conditions addressing damages from groundwater. The appeal was sustained.

            In 2006 the agency denied the permit citing eleven reason. The trail court upheld the agency’s denial. A professor from Wesleyan University, named peter Patton and two others named George Logan and Sigrun Gadwa, talked about the issues regarding the connection between large-scale clearing, siltation and their effect on the wetlands ecology. The fragmentation of forest would also result in adverse impacts to the vernal pools. The amphibian life would be effected.

            Golf courses are often considered to be the chemical- intensive ecosystem with negative impacts. To develop a golf course, many acres of forest land have to be cleared of natural vegetation and habitats, graded, and planted with what is often non-native grasses, tress, and shrubs. All that “pretty green grass” requires also of water, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides to maintain. Chemicals used are combined with over-irrigation may cause contamination of groundwater aquifers, surface water bodies and the ocean in some cases.

            In addition, local streams may be diverted which will impact freshwater aquatic life. Although wetlands may be created, they can also be destroyed. The golf course may also directly and indirectly block coastal access to the beach and may take away beach parking. Finally the golf course development often encourages other developments, such as housing tracts, restaurants, or shopping malls. So think of what Old Saybrook would look like? Luckily this is not going to happen.

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DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.