Does CERCLA and the Texas SWDA also provide a “secured creditor exemption”?

Yes.  CERCLA provides a “secured creditor exemption” by defining the term “owner or operator” as to not include a person, who, without participating in the management of a vessel or facility, holds indicia of ownership primarily to protect his security interest.

The purpose of the exemption is to shield from liability those “owners” who are in essence lenders holding title to the property as security for the debt. The SWDA contains a similar exemption.

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