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Superfund Listening Session - Exploring CERCLA Environmental Liability Transfer Approaches

SFTF Recommendation No. 22: Explore Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT) Approaches and Related Financial Risk Management Tools at PRP Cleanups. (Goal 3/Strategy 1)

Date of Event: June 5, 2018.

The goal of this recommendation is to encourage private investment and promote third-party participation in Superfund site cleanups by exploring innovative approaches for financing site cleanups, including the use of different financial mechanisms by which a third party can assume some or all obligations for remediation (sometimes called the Environmental Liability Transfer (ELT) approach), consistent with Superfund statutory authorities and obligations. Information on the listening session series.

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Overview of Session Topic and Issues

Potentially responsible parties have long used insurance products, indemnities, and other contractual cost allocation mechanisms to aid implementation of their Superfund cleanup obligations. More recently, new financial business models are being used to help pay for site clean ups in which non-liable parties assume some or all of the financial risk from liable parties, in aid of cleanup and redevelopment.

This listening session will explore the current landscape of some of these different financial risk allocation mechanisms, including environmental liability transfers (ELTs) and other business structures, and will include two case studies.

EPA’s goal is to learn more about the private sector’s experience using these approaches and to hear from communities and other public interest groups. This listening session will also seek information on ways in which EPA can help facilitate these and other innovative approaches, consistent with its statutory obligations.

Who Should Attend

  • Real estate investment consultants and investors
  • Private party representatives (attorneys and consultants) involved with the implementation of Superfund response actions.
  • Community groups and non-profit organizations, including environmental justice groups, interested in effective Superfund cleanups and site revitalization
  • EPA, DOJ, and state employees involved with negotiating CERCLA cleanup settlements
  • EPA and state employees who work on contaminated site reuse issues that could involve CERCLA

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Questions to Session Participants for Verbal and Written Remarks

The Agency would like participants of this listening session to focus their remarks on the following questions and topics:

  1. What specific types of environmental liability transfer (ELT) transactions and tools are private parties using to allocate costs or obligations associated with cleaning up sites?
  2. What kind of sites are particularly amenable to the ELT and related approaches?
  3. What factors make an ELT approach more, or less, useful at a site?
  4. Based on your experience, should EPA encourage the use and development of ELT transactions and tools to facilitate Superfund cleanups, and if so, how?


  • Greg Wall (OECA/Office of Site Remediation Enforcement/Regional Support Division)
  • Charlie Howland ((Region 3 Office of Regional Counsel, on detail with OECA/OSRE/RSD)
  • Erik Hanselman (OECA/OSRE/Policy and Program Evaluation Division)

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Information Relevant to the Listening Session

Visit Listening Sessions - Superfund Task Force Recommendations webpage for more information on the series of eight listening sessions.

Superfund Task Force Footer

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