Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Pat Ware
July 22 --The “vast majority” of contaminated sites requiring cleanup are likely to be addressed by state cleanup programs and won't involve federal cleanup or enforcement laws, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a reference guide addressing liability for renewable energy projects at contaminated sites.
Such state programs include superfund, brownfields and voluntary cleanup programs, along with landfill and underground storage tank programs. Compliance with state cleanup standards generally precludes federal involvement, the guide said.
In general, only contaminated properties that pose significant actual or potential threats to public health or the environment--and those properties that need immediate attention--will be regulated under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) or the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), according to the guide recently posted on the EPA's website.
The EPA issued the “Liability Reference Guide for Siting Renewable Energy on Contaminated Properties” under its RE-Powering America's Land initiative, which was launched in 2008. The document is intended for developers, including financiers, of renewable energy sites on contaminated land.
The agency is developing its second action plan to encourage renewable energy generation on superfund, brownfields, former landfills or former mining sites .
As of March 2012, the EPA had identified about 11,000 potential renewable energy sites on contaminated land.
Energy developers at such sites currently have a number of protections against cleanup liability, the EPA guide said. CERCLA contains several self-implementing landowner liability protections and generally limits federal CERCLA enforcement against parties who are cleaning up certain contaminated sites in accordance with a state program, it said.
EPA approval isn't required for these liability protections and limitations to take effect for parties who meet the law's requirements, the new guide said.
The agency also said it has developed a variety of enforcement discretion policies and property-specific documents to encourage cleanups and facilitate contaminated property transactions and revitalization.
To address concerns about potential liability under CERCLA, the EPA has issued enforcement discretion guidance and accompanying model “comfort letters” regarding the treatment of tenants under CERCLA's bona fide prospective purchaser provision, according to the reference guide.
The revised guidance and model letters were issued in December 2012 .
Finally, the guide said the EPA will work with developers on a renewable energy project to address potential lessee liability issues and to determine if a property-specific document from the agency may be needed.
The reference guide addresses potential liability issues, summarizes available resources and policy tools and facilitates projects to site renewable energy on contaminated sites. The appendix lists EPA programs and reference documents relevant to developers considering such projects.
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Ware in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
EPA's reference guide for siting renewable energy on contaminated sites is available at http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/liability-reference-guide-siting-renewable-energy-contaminated-property.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)