Superfund/CERCLA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Announces One-Year Anniversary Task Force Accomplishments

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a July 24th news release describing what it characterized as the “One-Year Anniversary Accomplishments.”

The news release also reviews the federal agency’s plan for year two.

EPA commissioned a task force in 2017 to provide recommendations on how the agency could streamline and improve the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (“Superfund”) program. A task force report had been issued on July 25, 2017, which included 42 recommendations.

The July 24th news release notes the “highlights” of EPA’s progress in carrying out the recommendations include:

  • Achieving Key Milestones at Sites on the Administrator’s Emphasis List
  • Moving More Sites Toward Deletion/Partial Deletion
  • Improving Information on Human Exposure Status
  • Promoting Redevelopment and Community Revitalization at Targeted Sites
  • Developing Tools and a Process to Encourage Third-Party Investment
  • Engaging with Partners and Stakeholders

EPA projects that it will complete implementation of the task force recommendations by 2019. It further projects that over the next year it will:

  • Continue to expedite cleanups and move sites towards deletion.
  • Use adaptive management on a more structured and broader scale and formally implement adaptive management principles at select pilot sites by the end of calendar year 2018.
  • Collaborate with our state and tribal partners through the Environmental Council of States, Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, and Tribal Waste and Response Steering Committee to complete a thorough evaluation of groundwater beneficial use policies with a focus on beneficial use determinations.
  • Continue to reinvigorate responsible party cleanup and reuse by using best practices and modifying model enforcement language to reduce responsible party cleanup negotiation time frames and shorten potentially responsible party lead cleanups.
  • Encourage private investment in the cleanup and reuse of contaminated sites by finalizing guidance and developing new model work agreements and comfort letters to create certainty and assist third parties in identifying investment opportunities at Superfund sites.
  • Implement the Superfund Remedial Acquisition Framework to reduce cleanup costs, foster innovation, and increase efficiency.
  • Continue to focus on stakeholder and partner engagement during all Superfund cleanup process phases, including improving risk communication at Superfund sites with long-term stewardship requirements.

A copy of the news release can be downloaded here.

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Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.
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