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Environmental Protection, Producer Insolvency and Lender Liability

The present paper deals with some legal issues surrounding environmental protection, namely those issues concerning the liability of the different firms and individuals directly or indirectly involved in the generation of environment damaging accidents. We consider in particular the potential effects of extending a firm's liability in case of an environmental disaster to its lenders and financiers when the cost of this liability is too large in relation to the firm's assets. Such extended liability regimes exist or are considered in many countries. The most important case is the 1980/85 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) in the USA that led to an extensive jurisprudence over the last fifteen years.
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