Superfund Task Force Listening Session on Recommendation 21: Encouraging PRPs to Integrate Reuse Opportunities into Cleanups

On June 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held the fourth of its listening sessions on the recommendations of its Superfund Task Force to improve the implementation of the federal Superfund program. This session focused on Recommendation 21, which is to encourage Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) to integrate reuse opportunities into their cleanup plans.

The EPA presenters began by providing the background of the Superfund Task Force Report and its five overall goals: (1) expediting cleanup and remediation; (2) reinvigorating PRP cleanup and reuse; (3) encouraging private investment; (4) promoting redevelopment and community revitalization; and (5) engaging partners and stake holders. The EPA presenters identified why PRPs may have an incentive for incorporating reuse into their cleanup plans. They also posed two questions: (1) why do PRPs not routinely consider re-use when performing site investigations and cleanups; and (2) what options and incentives can EPA use to assist PRPs in integrating re-use into their decision-making process?

A copy of the slide presentation accompanying EPA’s oral presentations is available here.

EPA then opened the floor for questions and comments from the participants in the listening session. There was only one comment made during the call: a lawyer from Northwestern Pritzker Law School commented that it was not clear that emphasizing reuse of sites is consistent with the goal of protecting public health and the environment. The commenter observed that emphasizing reuse runs the risk of promoting the economic interests of the PRPs rather than focusing on protective cleanups. She also expressed doubts about EPA’s track record in taking seriously the comments of affected communities.

Interested parties may submit written remarks on this topic to EPA by June 18, 2018 at OSRE-SFTF-listeningsession@EPA.gov with the subject line “LS 21.”

Gibbons blogs covering the other listening sessions are available at these links: Recommendation 16.2, Recommendation 27, and Recommendation 22.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments or would like to discuss any of these topics further.

David J. Freeman is a Director in the Gibbons Environmental Department.
Print