Setting Straight The EPA On The Cost Of Removing PCBs


Originally published in Law360, New York (March 14, 2012, 1:45 PM ET)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has requested public comment on a proposed reinterpretation of its polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) rules, billed as a step to accelerate removal of building materials containing PCBs. Comments are due by March 30, 2012.

The proposed reinterpretation would barely dent the costs confronting building owners concerned about the possible or confirmed presence of PCB-containing building materials like paint and caulk. Building owners should consider taking this opportunity to tell the EPA that minor tweaks are not enough: instead, the EPA should assess the risks actually posed by these building materials and develop more substantial ways of minimizing the costs of managing or disposing of such materials.

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