In an issue of first impression, California Court rules a landowner may face liability for the groundwater contamination where there is no actual knowledge of contamination, or specific negligence by a tenant.  United Artists Theatre Circuit, Inc. v. Regional Water Quality Control Board (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 851.  The issue before the court was whether proof of actual knowledge of contamination was required, whether strict liability applied, or if negligence governed, then what standard of negligence under the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act should be applied.  The conclusion by the Court is that if the landowner permitted or allowed the use that caused the contamination, and it was reasonably likely the general use could cause contamination, then the landowner could be held liable.  The Court declined to require proof of negligence based on the specific operations, but instead a landowner’s knowledge that a general activity might create a reasonable possibility of discharge was sufficient.  Therefore, landowners leasing land must take into consideration the activity being permitted on the property and ensure that if a particular use generally might be expected to cause contamination that there are sufficient practical and financial safeguards.