Innocent Purchaser

A party not responsible for cleanup of contaminated property. Under SARA. anyone who is in the chain of title becomes responsible for such cleanup, even those with no responsibility for the pollution. One exception is a purchaser who knew nothing about the contamination and had a Phase I investigation done prior to the purchase. Example: Discarded electrical parts containing hazardous PCBs and lead were found on land, requiring a cleanup of the environmentally contaminated property. All current and prior owners and users were potentially responsible parties. Irene, however, bought the land after a qualified inspector had determined that it was free of hazards, so she is an innocent purchaser, not responsible for cleanup.