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EPA Revises Policy to Help Redevelopment at Federal Facility Superfund Sites

As part of the U.S.  EPA’s July 25, 2017, Superfund Task Force Report Recommendation 30, EPA revised its 1997 “Policy Towards Landowners and Transferees of Federal Facilities.” Recommendation 30 directed the revision as part of the Report’s Goal 3, “Encouraging Private Investment.” Formerly, the 1997 policy indicated that prospective purchaser agreements would not be necessary for landowners and transferees of federal facilities. In addition, it did not encourage the use of various tools, such as comfort letters, to give transferees confidence that EPA would generally not take CERCLA enforcement action against them. The revised policy is intended to encourage reuse and redevelopment of federal property.  It supports the use of tools such as comfort letters and other agreements to address potential liability concerns of landowners and transferees who acquire federal property, and aims to alleviate uncertainty regarding potential enforcement by EPA for contamination existing as of the date of property acquisition. EPA developed the policy in coordination with two state organizations, ECOS and ASTSWMO, and other federal agencies.  Susan Bodine, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, issued the revised policy on May 17, 2019 .

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