Environmental Affairs in Bankruptcy: 2004
During the 1930s, it was said that Germany’s situation was serious but not hopeless whereas Austria’s situation was hopeless but not serious. The present treatment of environmental obligations in bankruptcy is serious and hopeless. It is treatment of environmental obligations in bankruptcy is serious and hopeless. It is not possible to treat all claims equitably and to give environmental claims special preference. It is not possible to give debtors a fresh start and make them pay for cleanups. The goals of bankruptcy conflict with the goals of environmental law, in particular, CERCLA. For years now, courts have noted the tension and its inevitable by-product, confusion. Courts and commentators have called on Congress or the Supreme Court to establish which should prevail. The silence has been deafening. Courts have had to do the best they could under difficult circumstances.
Michael G. Hillinger & Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger, Environmental Affairs in Bankruptcy: 2004, 12 Am. Bankr. Inst. L. Rev. 331 (2004).