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Comfort/Status Letters Guidance

Memorandum transmitting Superfund comfort/status letter policy for parties interested in reusing and/or redeveloping contaminated, potentially contaminated, and formerly contaminated property (“impacted properties”). The 2019 comfort/status letter policy discusses the background and purpose of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s issuance of Superfund comfort/status letters and describes the intended use of these letters under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Issued 8/21/2019.

The 2019 policy supersedes the 8/25/2015 revised policy on issuance of Superfund comfort/status letters, and several of the 2015 comfort/status letter model documents.

The complete transmittal package is available in PDF format below.

Appendices Overview

Appendix A: The 2019 policy includes four model Superfund comfort/status letters to assist the EPA Regions when drafting site-specific letters to parties interested in acquiring impacted property for reuse and redevelopment. Two 2015 model Superfund comfort status letters (state action letter and no previous federal Superfund interest) are updated and the 2015 “Federal Superfund Interest and No Current Federal Superfund Interest Comfort/Status Letter” is divided into two new model letters (federal Superfund interest and no current federal Superfund interest). All comfort/status letter model documents are available for download in Word format on the Cleanup Enforcement Model Language and Sample Documents Database.

Appendix B: The “Recommended Use of Comfort/Status Letters” chart differentiates between the purpose of the letters and to understand the relationship among them. The chart provides guidance on which letter to use in responding to a request for a letter.

Appendix C: The “Description of Other EPA Model and Sample Comfort/Status Letters” describes model documents the Agency has available to use on a site-specific basis. Most of the model documents addressed in this appendix are available from the comfort letter category of the Cleanup Enforcement Model Language and Sample Documents Database.

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