PR 20 NEW REFORMS CAP TWO YEAR EFFORT TO REFORM SUPERFUND
PR 20 NEW REFORMS CAP TWO YEAR EFFORT TO REFORM SUPERFUND
Superfund sites more attractive for economic redevelopment, the refo= rms include=20
an effort to pilot the deletion of "clean" parcels of Superfund sites= and=20
establishing guidance to ensure that all cleanup actions are consider= ed when=20
listing sites on the Superfund National Priorities List -- which is e= xpected to=20
keep some sites off the list, a factor that will help make them more = attractive=20
delays include efforts to increase fairness in the enforcement proces= s by=20
compensating settling parties for a portion of the "orphan shares," o= r cleanup=20
costs that are attributable to insolvent parties; and efforts to redu= ce=20
transaction costs by doubling the number of "small party" entities --= typically=20
small businesses and individuals whose contribution to pollution at S= uperfund=20
sites is small -- who are protected from lawsuits. To provide a posi= tive=20
incentive to reduce litigation, EPA also will reward cooperative part= ies at=20
sites that consistently perform high quality work by significantly re= ducing EPA=20
A third set of reforms aims to provide more and better informati= on and=20
opportunities for involvement to citizens, state and local government= s, and=20
industry in cleanup decisions, to encourage responsible cleanup choic= es that=20
reflect local needs and preferences. Among these reforms will be eff= orts to=20
establish greater roles for states and tribes in remedy selection; pr= oviding=20
clearer information on remedy selection decisions through simple summ= ary sheets;=20
promoting pilot efforts to create consensus on cleanup options in com= munities;=20
and providing forums for stakeholder concerns by establishing an ombu= dsman in=20
each Region to help resolve stakeholder concerns and increasing use o= f tools=20
such as electronic bulletin boards to improve communications among st= akeholders.
As a followup to previously announced reforms, EPA also has issu= ed a new=20
policy that adopts as guidance the provisions of the lender liability= rule; and=20
issued model de minimis settlement agreements designed to further str= eamline the=20
de minimis settlement process.
R-178 =09 # # # =20
NEW COMMON-SENSE REFORMS MAKE SUPERFUND PROGRAM=20 FASTER, FAIRER AND MORE EFFICIENT
Continuing its commitment to make the Superfund program faster, faire= r and more efficient for the one in four Americans who live=20 near a toxic waste site, the Clinton Administration is announcing a p= ackage of 20 new, common-sense administrative reforms. These=20 reforms culminate the Clinton Administration's EPA's two-year effort = to fundamentally redirect the Superfund program under the=20 current law. These new reforms will help governments, communities an= d industry in three important ways:
=B7 Ensure Risk Assessments are Grounded in Reality by soliciting = stakeholder input in designing accurate, consistent sitespecific assessments, including reasonable exposure pathways, an= d reaffirming EPA's commitment to allow parties at a site=20 to perform risk assessments under the proper circumstances.
=B7 Conduct National Risk-Based Priority Setting by establishing f= ormal priority-setting systems for funding federal facility=20 and Superfund cleanups based on the principle of "worst sites fi= rst," and involving States and other stakeholders in=20 setting those priorities; and issuing guidance to promote risk-b= ased priority setting in determining federal facility=20 cleanup milestones.
=B7 Reform Listing and Deletion Policies by piloting the deletion= of "clean" parcels of certain Superfund sites; and=20 establishing guidance to ensure that all cleanup actions that ha= ve been taken up to the time of a listing decision are=20 considered when listing sites on the Superfund National Prioriti= es List -- with the result that some sites will not warrant=20 listing, helping to make them more attractive for redevelopment.
2) Reduce litigation through reforms so that more time is spent on cl= eanups and less on lawyers. In thousands of communities,=20 toxic waste cleanups have prompted litigation as some of those respon= sible for pollution at a site have sued or threatened to sue=20 many small businesses and individual citizens over even the smallest = possibility of involvement. In other cases, responsible=20 parties argue over "orphan shares" of responsibility -- cleanup oblig= ations of companies responsible for past pollution who are=20 insolvent. The new reforms will expedite cleanups by providing solut= ions to these and other common conflicts, including=20 commitments to:
=B7 Increase Fairness in the Enforcement Process by compensating s= ettling parties for a portion of "orphan shares," the costs=20 that are attributable to insolvent parties; ensuring that settle= ment funds are dedicated to specific sites by placing them=20 in site-specific accounts; and, where settlement can't be reache= d, working with regions to ensure that cleanup orders are=20 issued to all appropriate parties (but not to parties whose cont= ribution to the pollution at the site is small -- de=20 minimis and de micromis parties) where there is a sufficient bas= is to direct them to conduct a cleanup.
=B7 Reduce Transaction Costs by adopting private party cost alloca= tions, including those identifying an orphan share, as the=20 basis for a settlement after EPA review and approval; increasing= by thousands the number of parties who contribute very=20 small volumes of waste that will be protected -- at a minimum, d= oubling the level previously identified for small party=20 protection; and rewarding cooperative parties at sites that cons= istently perform high quality work by significantly=20 reducing EPA oversight.
3) Help governments, communities, and industry become more informed= and involved so that cleanup decisions make the most sense at=20 the community level. EPA is committed to making Superfund work bette= r for the communities that rely on it to cleanup the toxic=20 waste sites threatening their public health and economic well-being. = A lack of good information about site conditions and cleanup=20 options has often led to cynicism and distrust of the Superfund progr= am. These reforms will harness the power of information to=20 take full advantage of the willingness of all involved at a site to a= rrive at responsible cleanup decisions.
=B7 Establish Greater State/Tribal Role in Remedy Selection by imp= lementing a process allowing States and Tribes (at Tribal=20 sites) to select remedies at certain Superfund sites, consistent= with applicable law and regulations governing cleanups.
=B7 Provide Clear Information on Remedy Selection Decisions throug= h a simple summary sheet explaining the cleanup plan and the=20 relationship between risk, cost, and other tradeoffs that were b= alanced in selecting a remedy from among the available=20 options.
=B7 Promote Consensus in Choosing Cleanup Options by developing an= d initiating pilot projects in which EPA empowers and assists=20 citizens, PRPs, and other stakeholders in devising a mutually ac= ceptable, protective cleanup plan.
=B7 Provide a Meaningful Forum for Stakeholder Concerns by establi= shing an Ombudsman in each Region to facilitate resolution of=20 stakeholder concerns at the Regional level; and using tools such= as electronic bulletin boards and grants to private and=20 educational institutions to improve communication among all Supe= rfund stakeholders.
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Last Revised: 02/28/1997 11:49:15 AM