Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


The prospect of a unified European consumer market in 1992 has brought acquisition of European subsidiaries by American blue chip corporations to an all-time high. Along with these new relationships, however, come numerous problems of environmental law. Recent developments in international law indicate that American corporations may inherit extensive liabilities under CERCLA and unwieldy administrative problems when acquiring European holdings. Further complicating these transactions, access to important documents regarding a property's prior use is often difficult to obtain and incomplete to satisfy emerging liability standards. This Article explores the effects environmental laws and liabilities can have on an international blue chip merger or acquisition and outlines the prominent American and European environmental laws affecting these activities.