US EPA will not
impose new financial responsibility requirements under CERCLA for three key industries: Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; petroleum and coal products manufacturing; and chemical manufacturing.
Based on environmental protections already in place and the agency’s experience cleaning up Superfund sites in each industry, EPA determined that facilities in these industries “do not present a level of risk that warrants financial responsibility requirements under CERCLA section 108(b)”
EPA announced its decision
in a final action published to the Federal Register
on December 2, 2020. The final decision to not
impose CERCLA financial responsibility requirements on these industries is effective as of January 4, 2021.
This effectively ends a decade-long rulemaking effort that started when EPA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2010. In early 2017, EPA announced its intention to move forward with a CERCLA rulemaking
that could have resulted in new financial responsibility requirements for these industries.
What Are CERCLA Financial Responsibility Requirements?
Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)—sometimes known as Superfund
—authorizes EPA to create regulations that require certain industries or facilities to establish and maintain evidence that they can “cover” the costs of risk associated with their production, transportation, treatment, or storage of hazardous chemicals.
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