42 U.S.C. § 11046

Current through P.L. 116-344 (published on www.congress.gov on 01/13/2021), except for P. Ls. 116-260 and 116-283
Section 11046 - Civil actions
(a) Authority to bring civil actions
(1) Citizen suits

Except as provided in subsection (e), any person may commence a civil action on his own behalf against the following:

(A) An owner or operator of a facility for failure to do any of the following:
(i) Submit a followup emergency notice under section 11004(c) of this title.
(ii) Submit a material safety data sheet or a list under section 11021(a) of this title.
(iii) Complete and submit an inventory form under section 11022(a) of this title containing tier I information as described in section 11022(d)(1) of this title unless such requirement does not apply by reason of the second sentence of section 11022(a)(2) of this title.
(iv) Complete and submit a toxic chemical release form under section 11023(a) of this title.
(B) The Administrator for failure to do any of the following:
(i) Publish inventory forms under section 11022(g) of this title.
(ii) Respond to a petition to add or delete a chemical under section 11023(e)(1) of this title within 180 days after receipt of the petition.
(iii) Publish a toxic chemical release form under 11023(g) 1 of this title.
(iv) Establish a computer database in accordance with section 11023(j) of this title.
(v) Promulgate trade secret regulations under section 11042(c) of this title.
(vi) Render a decision in response to a petition under section 11042(d) of this title within 9 months after receipt of the petition.
(C) The Administrator, a State Governor, or a State emergency response commission, for failure to provide a mechanism for public availability of information in accordance with section 11044(a) of this title.
(D) A State Governor or a State emergency response commission for failure to respond to a request for tier II information under section 11022(e)(3) of this title within 120 days after the date of receipt of the request.
(2) State or local suits
(A) Any State or local government may commence a civil action against an owner or operator of a facility for failure to do any of the following:
(i) Provide notification to the emergency response commission in the State under section 11002(c) of this title.
(ii) Submit a material safety data sheet or a list under section 11021(a) of this title.
(iii) Make available information requested under section 11021(c) of this title.
(iv) Complete and submit an inventory form under section 11022(a) of this title containing tier I information unless such requirement does not apply by reason of the second sentence of section 11022(a)(2) of this title.
(B) Any State emergency response commission or local emergency planning committee may commence a civil action against an owner or operator of a facility for failure to provide information under section 11003(d) of this title or for failure to submit tier II information under section 11022(e)(1) of this title.
(C) Any State may commence a civil action against the Administrator for failure to provide information to the State under section 11042(g) of this title.
(b) Venue
(1) Any action under subsection (a) against an owner or operator of a facility shall be brought in the district court for the district in which the alleged violation occurred.
(2) Any action under subsection (a) against the Administrator may be brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
(c) Relief

The district court shall have jurisdiction in actions brought under subsection (a) against an owner or operator of a facility to enforce the requirement concerned and to impose any civil penalty provided for violation of that requirement. The district court shall have jurisdiction in actions brought under subsection (a) against the Administrator to order the Administrator to perform the act or duty concerned.

(d) Notice
(1) No action may be commenced under subsection (a)(1)(A) prior to 60 days after the plaintiff has given notice of the alleged violation to the Administrator, the State in which the alleged violation occurs, and the alleged violator. Notice under this paragraph shall be given in such manner as the Administrator shall prescribe by regulation.
(2) No action may be commenced under subsection (a)(1)(B) or (a)(1)(C) prior to 60 days after the date on which the plaintiff gives notice to the Administrator, State Governor, or State emergency response commission (as the case may be) that the plaintiff will commence the action. Notice under this paragraph shall be given in such manner as the Administrator shall prescribe by regulation.
(e) Limitation

No action may be commenced under subsection (a) against an owner or operator of a facility if the Administrator has commenced and is diligently pursuing an administrative order or civil action to enforce the requirement concerned or to impose a civil penalty under this Act with respect to the violation of the requirement.

(f) Costs

The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this section, may award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) to the prevailing or the substantially prevailing party whenever the court determines such an award is appropriate. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(g) Other rights

Nothing in this section shall restrict or expand any right which any person (or class of persons) may have under any Federal or State statute or common law to seek enforcement of any requirement or to seek any other relief (including relief against the Administrator or a State agency).

(h) Intervention
(1) By the United States

In any action under this section the United States or the State, or both, if not a party, may intervene as a matter of right.

(2) By persons

In any action under this section, any person may intervene as a matter of right when such person has a direct interest which is or may be adversely affected by the action and the disposition of the action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede the person's ability to protect that interest unless the Administrator or the State shows that the person's interest is adequately represented by existing parties in the action.

1 So in original. Probably should be preceded by "section".

42 U.S.C. § 11046

Pub. L. 99-499, title III, §326, Oct. 17, 1986, 100 Stat. 1755.

REFERENCES IN TEXTThis Act, referred to in subsec. (e), is Pub. L. 99-499, Oct. 17, 1986, 100 Stat. 1613, as amended, known as the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1986 Amendment note set out under section 9601 of this title and Tables.The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (f), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Administrator
The term "Administrator" means the Administrator of General Services.
State
The term "State" means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession over which the United States has jurisdiction.
facility
The term "facility" means all buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person (or by any person which controls, is controlled by, or under common control with, such person). For purposes of section 11004 of this title, the term includes motor vehicles, rolling stock, and aircraft.
material safety data sheet
The term "material safety data sheet" means the sheet required to be developed under section 1910.1200(g) of title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as that section may be amended from time to time.
owner
The term "owner" means, with respect to federally assisted housing, the entity or private person, including a cooperative or public housing agency, that has the legal right to lease or sublease dwelling units in such housing.
person
The term "person" means any individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation (including a government corporation), partnership, association, State, municipality, commission, political subdivision of a State, or interstate body.
release
The term "release" means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other closed receptacles) of any hazardous chemical, extremely hazardous substance, or toxic chemical.
toxic chemical
The term "toxic chemical" means a substance on the list described in section 11023(c) of this title.