Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Statute of Limitations for Actions Brought by New York State for Recovery of Costs of Cleanup/Removal of Discharged Petroleum

Question:  What is the statute of limitations for an action brought by New York State against a property owner to recover cleanup and removal costs for a petroleum spill/discharge?

Two cases provide the rule:
“When the State has expended moneys from the New York Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund for the cleanup and removal of discharged petroleum, an action for common-law indemnity lies against any party who caused the discharge. Such an action is governed by a six-year Statute of Limitations and accrues upon any related expenditure by the State.
From the first expenditure or from each expenditure?
From each expenditure.  “Thus, State of New York v Ackley (supra) clearly ruled that plaintiff's cause of action for indemnification accrues—and the six-year limitations period commences—each time the Fund makes a payment for cleanup and removal costs.”
Any costs expended within six years before the action’s commencement date are timely sued; any costs expended more than six years before the recovery action’s commencement date are time-barred.  The SOL is, in effect, sliding from each expenditure of cleanup/removal costs.

Dropping this here so I (and we) can find this SOL rule again.

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