HTML _ 96-25 - Superfund Reauthorization in the Senate: A Summary of S. 1285
29-Dec-1995; Mark Reisch; 9 p.

Abstract: The Superfund reauthorization vehicle in the Senate is S. 1285, introduced on September 29, 1995, by Senator Bob Smith, chairman of a subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Title I authorizes the establishment of Community Response Organizations in Superfund locales, and increases the Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) available to citizen groups from $50,000 to $100,000. Title II authorizes States to carry out all or part of EPA's CERCLA authorities, including remedy selection. States may de-list existing National Priorities List (NPL) sites, and (under Title VIII) may veto the listing of a new NPL sites. Grants to the States from the Fund are provided. Title III authorizes grants to States to establish and expand voluntary cleanup programs. Interest-free $200,000 loans to local governments to promote brownfield redevelopment are provided. It also provides protection from liability for innocent land purchasers, lenders, lessors, and owners of property next to NPL sites. Title IV requires that remedies be selected that are the most cost-effective means of protecting human health and the environment. It effectively eliminates applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) and the current-law preference for permanence and treatment, allowing all cleanup options at a site to be considered. It requires the assessment of actual or planned future uses of land and water at the site in selecting the remedy. Title V establishes a mandatory non-binding liability allocation process for multi-party sites. Parties that accept the allocator's finding may receive a 50-percent tax credit for their pre-1980 cleanup costs if they stay on site to conduct the cleanup. De micromis parties (less than 200 pounds or 100 gallons of material containing hazardous substances) are exempt from liability, and de minimis parties (less than 1-percent share) may receive an early settlement. Response action contractors receive additional protection from liability. Title VI allows qualified States to exercise EPA's authorities at Federal facilities on the NPL. A Federal facility may be used for research, development, and innovative technologies. Title VII redefines ¨natural resource¨ for purposes of CERCLA; eliminates non-use damages; and eliminates all lost use damages for pre-1980 activities. Title VIII contains miscellaneous provisions, including a limitation of 90 additional sites on the NPL, and an increase in the authority for emergency response actions from $2 million to $4 million, and the time limit from 1 year to 2. Title IX authorizes appropriations. On September 29, 1995, Senator Bob Smith, chairman of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Control, and Risk Assessment of the Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced S. 1285. The bill is an extensive reauthorization of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund). The provisions of S. 1285 are summarized below. [read report]

Topics: Waste Management

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