Superfund, EPA could do more to reduce responsible parties" legal expenses

statement of Richard L. Hembra, Director, Environmental Protection Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division, before the Subcommittee on Development of Rural Enterprises, Exports and the Environment, Committee on Small Business, House of Representatives
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United States. -- Environmental Protection Agency -- Auditing., Hazardous waste sites -- United States -- Costs., Liability for environmental damages -- United St
StatementUnited States General Accounting Office.
SeriesTestimony -- GAO/T-RCED-93-73.
ContributionsUnited States. General Accounting Office.
The Physical Object
FormatMicroform
Pagination2, 13, 1, [2] p.
ID Numbers
Open LibraryOL15398919M

Superfund: EPA Could Do More to Reduce Responsible Parties' Legal Expenses T-RCED Published: Publicly Released: To help parties reach settlements with EPA and with each other, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of (SARA) gave EPA the authority to use tools to reduce transaction costs, including de minimis settlements, NBARs, mixed funding, and ADR.

To help parties reach settlements with EPA and with each other, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of (SARA) gave EPA the authority to use tools to reduce transaction costs, including de minimis settlements, NBARs, mixed funding, and ' ADR.

); Superfund: EPA Could Do More to Reduce Responsible Parties’ Legal Expenses (GAO/r-RCED, Sept. 28, ); Superfund: Techniques to Reduce Legal Expenses Have Not Been Used Often (GAO/T-RCED, Nov.

4,); and Superfund: Limited Use Made of Techniques to. Some Problems With Superfund Settlement Premiums When a party “cashes out” of its liability to the government under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and. EPA can remove the contaminant or remediate the site or both.

ompensation – Superfund established $ billion inincreased to $ billion in under SARA (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act) L.

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iability. ct – Potentially responsible parties pay. EPA can clean up first by accessing Superfund. If a responsible party does not agree to do the cleanup, EPA can issue an order to do certain work, or work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue the party through the federal court system.

If a party is out of compliance with an order or settlement, the Superfund enforcement program takes action to bring the party into compliance. The Superfund law (officially the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, (CERCLA)) imposes liability on parties responsible for, in whole or in part, the presence of hazardous substances at a site.

Superfund Liability is: Retroactive - Parties may be held liable for acts that happened before Superfund's enactment in If EPA does the cleanup work using Superfund money, it will try to recover those costs from responsible parties.

The Agency must document all its cleanup costs, including direct expenses (e.g., salary and contractual) and indirect expenses (e.g., overhead). Finding Potentially Responsible Parties.

Early in the cleanup process, EPA conducts a search to find all of the potentially responsible parties (PRPs). EPA looks for evidence to determine liability by matching wastes found at the site with parties that may have contributed wastes to the site.

EPA uses many approaches to do this research, including. City: The name of the city, town, village, or other municipality where a site is located or an incident occurs, or the nearest geographical place name if a site or incident is not located within a formal jurisdiction.

Claim in Bankruptcy Proceeding: Legal action performed by EPA Regional attorneys to establish EPA as a creditor when a potentially responsible party (PRP) has filed for. 'Superfund: Little Use Made of Technioues to Reduce Leaal Expenses (GAO/T-RCED, J ) and Superfund: EPA Could Do More to Reduce Responsible Parties' Lesal Expenses (GAO/T-RCED, Sept.

28, ). 'As of Septemberof the 1, final sites on the National Priorities List (EPA's inventory of Superfund sites) were federal. The Superfund program is administered by EPA in cooperation with state and tribal governments.

Description Superfund, EPA could do more to reduce responsible parties" legal expenses PDF

It allows EPA to clean up hazardous waste sites and to force responsible parties to perform cleanups or reimburse the government for cleanups led by EPA. The law exempted the EPA from judicial oversight except at a few points in the Superfund process.

Even at those points, those accused (the “potentially responsible parties” or PRPs) could reduce their financial burden only if they could prove that EPA. To help parties reach settlements with EPA and with each other, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of (SARA) gave EPA the authority to use tools to reduce transaction costs, ADR.

including de minimis settlements, NBARs, mixed funding, and SETTLEMENT TOOLS HAVE BEEN USED INFREOUENTLY Although almost 7 years have passed since SARA authorized settlement tools, EPA. • Superfund Today • Property Issues • a cA Q cA Cat ct\ a What can I do if my property value goes down because of a Superfund site.

Property owners may want to consult with local government officials about the possibility of property tax abatements or adjustments, based on impacts on property values from pollution concerns; however, this is beyond the authority of the federal.

The new federal program enacted an extensive liability system and created a public trust fund -- the Superfund -- to fund cleanups where responsible parties could not be found.

The EPA and other defenders of the program view the liability system as the core of the Superfund program, claiming that it embodies the virtues of the "polluter pays. If you could reduce it to the most significant issue.

Briggum: I think the most significant issue was how you would manage to organize the responsible parties into a sufficient critical mass to fund the cleanup.

Given the nature of the statute, which says all you need is one responsible party and you can charge that company with a percent. Although separate legal actions are possible, generally the states and EPA cooperate and pursue a joint cost recovery action against the responsible party(ies).

The resulting need to document costs by site to facilitate Superfund cost recovery actions cre- ates a complex set of financial management and recordkeeping problems.

perform and pay for the cleanup work at the site. EPA negotiates with the responsible parties to induce them to pay for the planning and cleanup work, which is supervised by EPA. EPA can use Superfund Trust Fund money to pay for cleanup costs and then attempt to get the money back from the responsible parties through legal action.

Authorized by Section (r) of the Superfund law, a Windfall Lien can be placed on a Superfund site for the increase in the fair market value of that property attributable to EPA's cleanup efforts. A Windfall Lien can only arise on sites where the United States spends money cleaning up the property and is not reimbursed by a responsible party.

The EPA seeks to identify parties responsible for hazardous substances releases to the environment (polluters) and either compel them to clean up the sites, or it may undertake the cleanup on its own using the Superfund (a trust fund) and seek to recover those costs from the responsible parties through settlements or other legal means.

be demanding more costs," from potentially responsible parties, said Office of Waste Programs Enforcement head Bruce Diamond at a press briefing. The rule also clarifies what costs the agency can recover and therefore will reduce both PRPs' and EPA's transaction costs, Diamond added.

But the new rule disturbs industry proponents. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response OSWERFS EPAF May &EPA Operation and Maintenance in the Superfund Program Adequately addressing operation and maintenance (O&M) issues throughout the life of a Superfund remedy is critical to the successful implementation of the Superfund program.

Whenever possible, EPA and the Department of Justice use their legal enforcement authorities to require responsible parties to pay for site cleanups, thereby preserving the Super- fund for emergency actions and sites where no responsible parties can be identified.

at and expenses of the party and generally calculates “available income” for a ’. Superfund settlement 0ver.a five-year period. In calculating “available income,” the analysis ’ ’ account.“increased future ne6ds” @e.,ordinary and necessary expenses that will be.

The high transaction costs of Superfund litigation would seemingly provide a strong incentive for the parties to use ADR. While non-binding mediation and negotiation techniques have been attempted in most Superfund cases, potentially responsible parties (PRPs) often reach an impasse on the issue of the proper allocation of cleanup costs.

But unsecured creditors received only percent of the amounts Kaiser owed, or about $, in the case of the EPA. The government originally claimed Kaiser owed close to $ million for more than a dozen sites, although the EPA conceded some other companies could have been responsible for cleanup at those locations.

Settlement with potentially responsible parties at the site will accomplish work that EPA would otherwise have had to conduct itself.

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The cleanup is estimated to cost $ million dollars. Under the settlement, EPA will reimburse the parties up to $ million of this amount, in recognition of the costs and site liabilities attributable to.

Agency (EPA) is responsible for running the Superfund program. On Octothe Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) was signed into law. SARA increases the Trust Fund to $ billion over five years, and trenghtens EPA’s s authority to conduct cleanup and enforcement activites. Under the Superfund program, EPA can.

If responsible parties can be identified, EPA can then either force those parties to undertake cleanup, or undertake the cleanup itself and then seek reimbursement for its expenses through legal actions against those parties. In determining the responsible parties' liability, the .21 If the party fails to comply with the order, EPA may impose penalties of up to $5, per day.

22 Moreover, if the party fails to clean up the site and EPA ultimately performs the cleanup itself, the party may be held liable for punitive damages amounting to three times the cost of the cleanup, in addition to the compensatory cleanup costs.Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed Superfund indirect cost accounting methodology.

EPA needs effective cost accounting because, under the law that established the Superfund program, EPA seeks reimbursements from responsible parties for billions of dollars of costs it incurs in.