Under federal law, a tenant who subleases a property to a sublessee who contaminates the site may be liable for cleanup costs depending on which federal court hears the case. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act's (CERCLA) circular definition of a property "owner" has resulted in a circuit split on this issue. ln the Second Circuit, courts rely on a five-factor test to determine owner liability. In sharp contrast, the Ninth Circuit incorporates state-specific law to assign owner liability.
Shlom, Alison (2018) "Real Property Sublessors Escape CERCLA Owner Liability in the Second Circuit," Sustainable Development Law & Policy: Vol. 19 : Iss. 1 , Article 5. Available at: https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/sdlp/vol19/iss1/5