When a party buys or leases real estate, they may become liable for the cleanup of pre-existing environmental contamination, even if the new property owner/tenant did not release the contaminants.  That liability exists under the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund law.  Most states also have similar laws

In EPEC Polymers, Inc. v. NL Industries Inc., Civ. Action No. 12-3842 (D.N.J. May 24, 2013), defendant NL Industries Inc. owned property on one side of the Raritan River, where it produced and discharged waste to the river.  Plaintiff EPEC Polymers, Inc. owned property on the opposite side of the river.  The U.S. Army

In the case of Litgo v. Martin, 2011 WL 65933 (D.N.J. Jan. 7, 2011) the federal District Court of New Jersey held that a shareholder of a single-purpose entity that owns a contaminated facility is liable as a current operator under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et