WASHINGTON -- A group including the banking industry's largest trade organization has asked the U.S. Supreme Court hear a case that could help lenders avoid environmental cleanup costs.

The group, which includes the American Bankers Association, is challenging a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that overturned a rule limiting lender liability for environmental cleanup. Most of the cases of concern to lenders involve properties used to secure loans that turn out to be contaminated by hazardous chemicals.

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