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Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Interpretive Statement on Change in Ownership of Real Property Contaminated with Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Section 6(e) of the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) prohibits the distribution in commerce of PCBs. During the past 20 years, the Agency interpreted this statutory prohibition to apply to the sale of real property contaminated with PCBs if the contamination occurred after 1978.

For reasons set forth in this memorandum, the Agency has reexamined this interpretation and determined that it is not required under TSCA. The Agency will no longer consider the transfer of ownership of real property that is contaminated with PCBs as a prohibited distribution in commerce of PCBs.

EPA has concluded that limitations on the conveyance of real property are not necessary to advance the statutory goal of limiting exposure to PCBs. In many cases, limitations on conveyance of real property are an unnecessary barrier to economic redevelopment, delaying the cleanup of contaminated properties.

The Agency believes that restrictions on the transfer of real property should be avoided unless necessary to achieve the statutory purpose of protecting the public from exposure to PCBs. Change in ownership of the property does not change the status of PCBs on the site.

The Agency believes that real property transfer prohibitions do not serve any protective purpose and is therefore announcing a reinterpretation of section 6(e).

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