U.S. v. Friedland, No. CIV.A. 96-N-1213.

Docket NºNo. CIV.A. 96-N-1213.
Citation152 F.Supp.2d 1234
Case DateMarch 31, 2001
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado
152 F.Supp.2d 1234
UNITED STATES of America and the State of Colorado, Plaintiffs, Counter-Defendants, and Third-Party Defendants,
v.
Robert M. FRIEDLAND, Defendant, Counter-Defendant, Counter-Claimant and Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
Aztec Minerals Corporation, an Ohio corporation; South Mountain Minerals Corporation and Gray Eagle Mining Corporation, a Colorado Corporation, Third-Party Defendants, Counter and Cross-Claimants, and Third-Party Plaintiffs,
v.
Bechtel Corporation; f/k/a Bechtel Civil, Inc., f/k/a Bechtel Civil & Minerals, Inc.; Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association, a national banking association; Industrial Constructors Corporation, a Montana corporation; A.O. Smith Corporation, a New York corporation; Columbia Geosystems, Ltd., f/k/a Columbia Reservoir Systems, Ltd., an Alberta, Canada corporation; Gse Lining Technology, Inc. (as successor to Gundle Lining Systems, Inc., a/k/a Gundle Liner Systems, Inc.), a Delaware corporation; Klohn Leonoff, Inc., a Colorado corporation; Klohn Leonoff, Ltd., in its English form; and Klohn-Leonoff, Ltee, in its alternative French form, a British Columbia, Canada Company, Third-Party Defendants and Cross-Claim Defendants.
No. CIV.A. 96-N-1213.
United States District Court, D. Colorado.
March 31, 2001.

Page 1235

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1236

Nancy Ann Mangone, Environmental Protection Agency, Region VIII, Denver, CO, Melissa K. Ward, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, David L. Dain, Lois J. Schiffer, John W. Sither, A. Kent Mayo, U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, Alan David Greenberg, Peter R. Mounsey, John N. Moscato, James D. Freeman, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Denver, CO, Richard B. Caschette, Kennedy & Christopher, P.C., Denver, CO, Leonard M. Gelman, Denver, CO, Henry L. Solano, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC, Michael P. Carey, Richard T. Spriggs, Stephen D. Taylor, Linda Ann Surbaugh, United States Attorney's Office, Denver, CO, for USA

Cheryl A. Linden, Jane T. Feldman, Jennifer Lee Gimbel, Laura Marie Maresca, Attorney General's Office, General Legal Services Section, Denver, CO, Felicity Hannay, Davis, Graham & Stubbs, LLP, Denver, CO, Gale A. Norton, Attorney General's Office, Department of Law, Denver, CO, Alan J. Gilbert, Daniel S. Miller, Stephen Marshall Brown, Robert J. Eber, Attorney General's Office, Natural Resouces Unit, Denver, CO, Patricia S. Bangert, Powers & Phillips, PC, Denver, CO, Timothy M. Tymkovich, Hale, Hackstaff, Tymdovich & ErkenBrack, LLP, Denver, CO, Robert Reiny Marsh, Attorney General's Office, Criminal Enforcement Division, Denver, CO, Joseph Carroll Smith, Jr., Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, Denver, CO, Robert D. Clark, Attorney General's Office, Business and Licensing Section, Denver, CO, for State of Colorado.

Frederick J. Baumann, James M. Lyons, Scott Mark Browning, Rothgerber, Johnson & Lyons, LLP, Denver, CO, Lee D. Foreman, Saskia A. Jordan, Haddon, Morgan & Foreman, P.C., Denver, CO, John Dennis Fognani, Christopher L. Thorne, Suzanna K. Moran, Zevnik, Horton, Guibord, McGovern, Palmer & Fognani, LLP, Denver, CO, Craig V. Richardson, Greenberg, Taurig, LLP, Denver, CO, for Robert M. Friedland.

Stanley L. Garnett, Connie Louise Peterson, Mark M. Mathews, Angela Wynn Victoria Jacobs, Amy Monger, Brownstein, Hyatt & Farbe, P.C., Denver, CO, Rebecca L. Summerville, Ronald B. MacDonald, Datsopoulos, MacDonald & Lind, PC, Missoula, MT, for Industrial Constructors Corporation

Timothy R. Gablehouse, Donn Lee Calkins, Melanie Joy Granberg, Gablehouse & Epel, LLC, Denver, CO, for Aztec Minerals Corporation, Gray Eagle Mining Corporation, and South Mountain Minerals Corporation.

Mark A. Wielga, Elizabeth Hope Temkin, Temkin, Wielga & Hardt, L.L.P., Denver, CO, for Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co., Union Pacific Resources Co., and Union Pacific Resources Group, Inc.

Peter John Korneffel, Jr., Brownstein, Hyatt & Farber, P.C., Denver, CO, James A. Clark, Cassandra Gay Sasso, Munir Reza Meghjee, Baker & Hostetler, Denver, CO, for Bechtel Corporation.

J. Eric Elliff, Tarek Fathi M. Saad, Morrison & Foerster, Denver, CO, Arne David Wagner, Michele Biegel Corash, Morrison & Foerster, LLP, San Francisco, CA, for Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association.

Richard S. Vermeire, John L. Watson, Craig B. Shaffer, Dianne Michelle Kueck, Moye, Giles, O'Keefe, Vermeire & Gorrell, Denver, CO, Joanne Herlihy, Dufford &

Page 1237

Brown, P.C., Denver, CO, for A.O. Smith Corporation.

Jeffrey A. Chase, Ann B. Frick, Mark D. Sullivan, Jacobs, Chase, Frick, Kleinkopf & Kelley LLC, Denver, CO, Neil Kenton Alexander, Porter & Hedges, LLP, Houston, TX, for Columbia Reservoir Systems, Ltd.

Paul David Phillips, Steven W. Black, Holland & Hart, LLP, Denver, CO, for Columbia Geosystems, Ltd.

Jeffrey A. Chase, Ann B. Frick, Mark D. Sullivan, Jacobs, Chase, Frick, Kleinkopf & Kelley LLC, Neil Kenton Alexander, Porter & Hedges, LLP, Houston, TX, for GSE Lining Technology, Inc.

William C. Scott, Stuart R. Butzier, Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk, P.A., Albuquerque, NM, Victor F. Boog, Linda Ann Battalora, Victor F. Boog, P.C., Lakewood, CO, for Southway Construction Co., Inc.

Hugh Gottschalk, Terence M. Ridley, Wheeler, Trigg & Kennedy, Denver, CO, for Sun Oil.

Roger L. Freeman, Michael John Gallagher, Davis, Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO, for ARCO.

Robert Daniel Scheid, Stephanie Erin Dunn, Eden Collins Steele, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P., Denver, CO, for Gilbert Western Corporation.

Jennifer K. Schreck, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Denver, CO, for Staker Paving and Construction Company, Inc.

James Daniel Levine, Long, Aldridge & Norman LLP, Atlanta, GA, James T. Markus, John Frederick Young, Block, Markus and Williams, LLC, Denver, CO, for Geosyntec Consultants, P.C.

ORDER AND MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

NOTTINGHAM, District Judge.


This is a CERCLA action. Third-Party Plaintiff Industrial Constructors Corporation ("ICC") requests that I find the following as a matter of law: (1) Plaintiff United States is a record owner of real property or mineral interest at the Summitville Mine site; (2) the United States' ownership interest at the Summitville Mine qualifies it as an "owner" within the meaning of section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA"), 42 U.S.C.A. § 9607 (West 1995 & Supp.2000); (3) the United States is a potentially responsible party (or "PRP") under CERCLA; and (4) as a result, the United States' claims are limited to contribution under section 113 of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C.A. § 9613. This matter is before the court on "Industrial Constructors Corp.'s Combined Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on its First and Third Counterclaims for Relief and for Summary Judgment on the Claims for Relief Filed by the United States and Joinder in Defendant Robert M. Friedland's Combined Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on His Third Counterclaim for Relief for Relief and for Summary Judgment on the United States' Claims for Relief" filed February 1, 2000. Jurisdiction is based upon 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 9607(a) and 9613(b) and 28 U.S.C.A. § 1331 (West 1993).

FACTS1

In May 1996, the United States— through the Environmental Protection

Page 1238

Agency ("EPA")—submitted a memorandum entitled "Litigation Referral for a CERCLA Section 107 Cost Recovery Against Robert M. Friedland" ("Litigation Referral Memo") to the United States Department of Justice. (Mem. in Supp. of Robert M. Friedland's Combined Mot. for Partial Summ. J. on His Third Countercl. for Relief and for Summ. J. on the United States' Cls. for Relief, Statement of Undisputed Facts ¶ 1 [filed Aug. 2, 1999] [hereinafter "Friedland's Br."]; admitted in pertinent part at United States' Mem. in Opp'n to Robert M. Friedland's Combined Mot. for Partial Summ. J. on His Third Countercl. for Relief and for Summ. J. on the United States' Cls. for Relief, Resp. to Mr. Friedland's Statement of Undisputed Facts ¶ 1 [filed Sept. 10, 1999] [hereinafter "Pl.'s Resp. to Friedland's Br."].) Referencing the "EPA, Summitville Mine Site: Interim Final PRP Search Report" ("PRP Search Report"), a document prepared at EPA's direction, the Litigation Referral Memo contains a list of "Liable Parties" at the Summitville Mine site and provides, in pertinent part:

The PRP Search Report discloses that the following owners and/or operators and generators have some degree of involvement at the Summitville Mine Superfund Site:

...

B. Liable Parties

...

(d) [PRP's] Not being pursued:

Homestake (only owned stock, no authority to control)

Klohn-Leonoff (oversight contractor for liner installation; defunct)

Polaris (defunct)

Quad (defunct)

W.S. Moore (defunct)

Trebilcock Mining (defunct)

General Minerals (no liability)

U.S. Forest Service (land management; not an operator)

(Decl. of Christopher J. Neumann in Supp. of Robert M. Friedland's Combined Mot. for Partial Summ. J. and for Summ. J., Ex. A [Litigation Referral Memo at 14-15] [filed Aug. 2, 1999] [hereinafter "Neumann Decl."].) As indicated above, the Litigation Referral Memo designates the United States Forest Service ("USFS") as a potential liable party and is within the category of those entities "[n]ot being pursued." (Id., Ex. A [Litigation Referral Memo at 15].) The USFS is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, an executive department of the United States. (Friedland's Br., Statement of Undisputed Facts ¶ 3; admitted at Pl.'s Resp. to Friedland's Br., Resp. to Mr. Friedland's Statement of Undisputed Facts ¶ 3.)

In a section entitled "Identification of Potentially Responsible Parties," the PRP Search Report itself identifies the USFS as an entity which "might have CERCLA § 107(a) ownership liability." (Neumann Decl., Ex. B [PRP Search Report at 89-90, 103].)...

To continue reading

Request your trial
12 practice notes
  • Coeur D'Alene Tribe v. Asarco Inc., No. CV 91-0342-N-EJL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Idaho
    • September 3, 2003
    ...or "owner" for mining activities of unpatented mining claims. This Court agrees with the court in United States v. Friedland, 152 F.Supp.2d 1234 (D.Colo. 2001), that the United States' interest in lands subject to unpatented mining claims does not make it an "owner" of s......
  • U.S. v. Newmont Usa Ltd., No. CV-05-020-JLQ.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of Washington
    • August 21, 2007
    ...... [the fiduciary] must not only hold bare title, but must possess other indicia of ownership"); United States v. Friedland, 152 F.Supp.2d 1234, 1241-44 (D.Colo.2001) (concluding that holding legal title was not enough to show owner liability); but see City of Phoenix v. Garbage Servs......
  • Chevron Mining Inc. v. United States, No. 15-2209
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • July 19, 2017
    ...for holders of "bare legal title," the government urges us to adopt such an exception based on United States v. Friedland , 152 F.Supp.2d 1234 (D. Colo. 2001). In Friedland , the district court held the United States, as "bare legal title holder to unpatented mining claims,&q......
  • U.S. v. Gurley, No. 3:00 CV 077 SMR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • March 2, 2004
    ...Corp., 157 F.Supp.2d 849, 858-59 (N.D.Ohio 2001); United States v. Manzo, 182 F.Supp.2d 385 (D.N.J.2000); United States v. Friedland, 152 F.Supp.2d 1234, 1246-49 (D.Colo.2001); United States v. Hunter, 70 F.Supp.2d 1100, 1104-07 (C.D.Cal.1999); United States v. Wallace, 961 F.Supp. 969 (N.D......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Coeur D'Alene Tribe v. Asarco Inc., No. CV 91-0342-N-EJL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Idaho
    • September 3, 2003
    ...or "owner" for mining activities of unpatented mining claims. This Court agrees with the court in United States v. Friedland, 152 F.Supp.2d 1234 (D.Colo. 2001), that the United States' interest in lands subject to unpatented mining claims does not make it an "owner" of s......
  • U.S. v. Newmont Usa Ltd., No. CV-05-020-JLQ.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of Washington
    • August 21, 2007
    ...... [the fiduciary] must not only hold bare title, but must possess other indicia of ownership"); United States v. Friedland, 152 F.Supp.2d 1234, 1241-44 (D.Colo.2001) (concluding that holding legal title was not enough to show owner liability); but see City of Phoenix v. Garbage Servs......
  • Chevron Mining Inc. v. United States, No. 15-2209
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • July 19, 2017
    ...for holders of "bare legal title," the government urges us to adopt such an exception based on United States v. Friedland , 152 F.Supp.2d 1234 (D. Colo. 2001). In Friedland , the district court held the United States, as "bare legal title holder to unpatented mining claims,&q......
  • U.S. v. Gurley, No. 3:00 CV 077 SMR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • March 2, 2004
    ...Corp., 157 F.Supp.2d 849, 858-59 (N.D.Ohio 2001); United States v. Manzo, 182 F.Supp.2d 385 (D.N.J.2000); United States v. Friedland, 152 F.Supp.2d 1234, 1246-49 (D.Colo.2001); United States v. Hunter, 70 F.Supp.2d 1100, 1104-07 (C.D.Cal.1999); United States v. Wallace, 961 F.Supp. 969 (N.D......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT