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 Steven Gibb
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is seeking recommendations on how to optimize EPA oversight of the Superfund program and increase the roles played by tribes, states, regions and other federal departments in cleanup decisions.
In a May 22 memo to staff, Pruitt outlined his charge to a task force designed to streamline the contaminated land program, with a special focus on sediment sites.
Pruitt asked the task force to develop recommendations over the next 30 days to “realign incentives of all involved parties to promote expeditious remediation, reduce the burden on cooperating parties, incentivize parties to remediate sites, encourage private investment in cleanups and sites and promote the revitalization of properties across the country.”
The task force will be chaired by one of Pruitt’s senior advisers, Albert Kelly, and will include representatives from EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, the Office of General Counsel, EPA Region 3 and others. EPA Region 3 office in Philadelphia is currently the lead region for the Superfund program, a role that rotates among the agency’s regional offices.
Pruitt earlier this month announced that he will be more involved in Superfund cleanup decisions and intends to formally approve any decision where site cleanup is expected to cost more than $50 million.
A Superfund attorney speaking on background said that “numerous regulated entities have already weighed in on Superfund reforms as part of comments on priorities for deregulatory action under the Trump Executive Orders.”
In the May 22 memo, Pruitt outlined his own vision for the program, which includes improved EPA interaction with other federal agencies at federal facilities and an expanded role for tribal, state and local governments, local and regional economic development zones, and public-private partnerships. The task force’s work should include a “reexamination of the level of agency oversight necessary,” Pruitt wrote.
Pruitt also seeks an expansion of EPA’s use of tools that promote private investment of contaminated land and sediment sites so communities can use the land or waterway again.
An environmental advocate cautioned that Pruitt’s task force won’t be able to effectively speed up Superfund cleanups if the program’s budget is cut.
“Pruitt’s push to accelerate Superfund clean-up is welcome, but a task force won’t get the job done if there’s no money to complete the work,” Bonnie Gestring, Northwest program director for Earthworks, told Bloomberg BNA in an email. “The severe budget cuts proposed for the Superfund program are the real problem, and will no doubt exacerbate the lengthy delays that communities already face.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Gibb in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Connolly at PConnolly@bna.com
EPA Chief Pruitt's Memo on Streamlining Superfund is available at http://src.bna.com/o6W.
Copyright © 2017 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)