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US Loses Landmark Supreme Court Environmental Case

The US Supreme Court.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) June 11, 2007
The US government must foot the bill for environmental clean-up costs paid voluntarily by a company hired on a federal contract, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. In a ruling that could expose the government to billions in claims, the nation's top court found in favor of Atlantic Research, which in the 1980s built rocket motors for the Pentagon at an Arkansas facility.

Atlantic Research voluntarily cleaned up soil and water contamination caused by residue from burnt rocket fuel, and later sought to recover the costs from the government under a 1980 environmental law.

The government argued that it was only liable if a court had ordered the company to clean up the site, not if it had done the work on its own initiative.

But in a written ruling, all nine Supreme Court justices found that the "Superfund" law was worded broadly enough "as to sweep in virtually all persons likely to incur clean-up costs," including the government.

Atlantic Research had won backing for its case from about 40 US states and the US Conference of Mayors, along with both environmentalists and industry groups unusually allied in a common cause against the government.

Supporters of the case argued that it would take centuries to clean up industrial contamination if in each case, the company implicated had to be forced into action by a court order.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Big Blue Goes Big Green In India
Bangalore (AFP) Jun 08, 2007
IBM said Friday it would supply technology to its Indian data-centre clients that will help them reduce energy costs, which make up almost half their total expense. IBM Global Financing, a unit of the technology giant, will provide clients with loans on easy terms so they can fund the hardware, software and services needed to build energy-efficient data centres, the company said in a statement.

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