Environmental due diligence is a critical component of any property transaction where potential environmental risks are a concern—minimize risks and protect yourself from...
Companies involved with contaminated properties will see more incentives to negotiate quicker deals for faster cleanups over the next year as part of the EPA’s continued emphasis on addressing Superfund sites.
The program was a priority of former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, but his task force has completed less than a third of its Superfund program reforms in the past year. Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has said that priority will continue.
The EPA’s Superfund task force drafted more than 40 recommendations in July 2017 on how to improve the contaminated site cleanup program. The agency anticipates completing 27 percent of those recommendations by the end of July, and the remaining 73 percent over the next 13 months, according to a July 23 EPA report.
The agency plans to make progress on redevelopment by providing companies the incentive of reduced oversight at Superfund sites, revising guidance for third parties who want to get involved at contaminated sites, and providing more clarity about companies’ cleanup responsibilities.
The Superfund task force has consistently emphasized cleanup speed, John Gullace, partner at Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., told Bloomberg Environment. Gullace has represented companies involved with Superfund sites.
“It appears that EPA is still looking at ways to accomplish this goal, which could include quicker reviews by EPA, but [potentially responsible parties] should expect EPA to move [potentially responsible party]-lead cleanups along more quickly,” he said in an email.
Some of the agency’s completed recommendations are still a work in progress, said Katherine Probst, who works on Superfund issues as an independent consultant with Kate Probst Consulting near Washington, D.C. The agency marks the administrator’s list of priority Superfund sites as a completed recommendation, although sites continue to be added and deleted from the list.
The remaining, incomplete recommendations range from building relationships with federal agencies to developing templates for letters the agency sends to companies.
“All these recommendations are not equal in terms of the import and impact to the program,” she told Bloomberg Environment.
Over the next year, the EPA also will emphasize the “adaptive management” approach to Superfund sites, where the agency’s regional offices are encouraged to take early cleanup actions at sites with immediate risks or the potential for a contaminant to spread. The approach could make cleanup cheaper and quicker, but also could create uncertainty for companies responsible for cleanup, sources previously told Bloomberg Environment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sylvia Carignan in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachael Daigle at email@example.com
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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)