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Superfund Task Force Public Participation Opportunities Past Webinars

EPA hosted the following webinars in support of the Superfund Task Force:

Adaptive Management Task Force Webinar
Oct. 2, 10 a.m Eastern
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Per the Adaptive Management Task Force Implementation memo (PDF)(6 pp, 1.3 MB, About PDF), EPA’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI) is seeking input on the Adaptive Management Pilot Criteria from various stakeholder groups. To provide potential commenters with additional information on Adaptive Management, the Task Force Implementation Plan, and the pilot criteria, OSRTI will host a two-hour informational webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EDT. OSRTI highly encourages all interested parties to make time for this information session.

Pragmatic Approaches to Remedial Investigation, Technology Selection, and Remediation Success
Mar. 15, 2018, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Eastern
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This webinar will provide an overview of high-resolution site characterization using direct sensing and data visualization tools to build the conceptual site model. The presentation will then focus on recent work at sites to demonstrate this approach’s effectiveness.

Recommendation 9 of EPA’s Superfund Task Force encourages the Superfund program to “Utilize State-Of-The-Art Technologies to Expedite Cleanup.” Actions under this recommendation include expanding the use of real-time investigation technologies and data visualization techniques to support a robust understanding of site conditions portrayed in conceptual site models. Accurate conceptual site models contribute to improved technology selection and implementation.

Mining Webinar Series: Successful Implementation of Biologically-Based Passive Remediation Systems.
May 1, 2018, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Eastern
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This webinar will describe how biologically-based passive remediation technologies have been shown to be a cost-effective option for treating Mine Influenced Waters, especially mildly- to moderately-impacted waters at low- to moderate-flow rates such as may be found at remote or closed mine sites. Presenters will share an overview of biologically-based passive remediation technologies, their applicability to mining site conditions, and illustrate the remedial design and evaluation process with a current treatability study example. In addition, two case study examples of mining sites with operating biologically-based passive treatment systems will be presented.

Combined Remedies: Adaptive, Flexible, Attentive Use of the Right Tools
May 21, 2018, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern
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Combining remedies is becoming increasingly prevalent across the spectrum of hazardous waste sites, from relatively simple to more complex. This trend is driven by a larger remedial tool box; and by increased understanding that contamination occurs in different phases and concentrations, and in different subsurface compartments. This webinar will discuss the underlying principles of attentive deployment of a variety of remedial technologies, along with informative case studies.

Superfund Task Force Listening Session: Expediting Negotiations with Potentially Responsible Parties for Superfund Cleanup Agreements
May 21, 2018, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Eastern
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This is the first in a series of eight listening sessions to provide a forum for EPA personnel to obtain stakeholder input on specific Superfund Task Force recommendations in an effort to increase public participation and transparency, and strengthen communication with stakeholders.

The goal of Recommendation 16 is to explore strategies to speed up negotiations with potentially responsible parties as well as cleanup under finalized settlements. An important outcome of Recommendation 16.2 will be to develop a list of best practices to reduce or eliminate delays in negotiations. This listening session will focus on negotiations, delaying factors, and possible methods or practices to improve negotiations with the goal to start cleanup as soon as possible.

Exploring CERCLA Environmental Liability Transfer Approaches
June 5, 2018, 12 – 2 p.m. Eastern
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Potentially responsible parties have long used insurance products, indemnities, and other contractual cost allocation mechanisms to aid implementation of their Superfund cleanup obligations. 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.

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

  • 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?
  • What kind of sites are particularly amenable to the ELT and related approaches?
  • What factors make an ELT approach more, or less, useful at a site?
  • Based on your experience, should EPA encourage the use and development of ELT transactions and tools to facilitate Superfund cleanups, and if so, how?

New Tools to Support Private Party Investment in Cleaning Up and Reusing Superfund Sites
June 5, 2018, 3 – 5 p.m. Eastern
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Recommendation 27 of the Superfund Task Force Report tasks EPA with identifying “tools for third parties interested in investment or other opportunities supporting the cleanup and reuse of NPL sites.” The session is open to the public. Interested stakeholders may include lenders and other financial institutions, consultants, attorneys, property investors, and others involved in the acquisition, cleanup, and redevelopment of contaminated property.

In this listening session, EPA would like to hear about:

  • The experiences of investors, lenders/financial institutions, purchasers, and other third parties with respect to supporting cleanup and revitalizing contaminated sites,
  • Considerations that may impact whether a financial institution, investor, purchaser or other third party becomes involved in a contaminated site,
  • Specific liability or other concerns/barriers that impact investment in or acquisition of these sites, and
  • Potential new tools or approaches, to complement or improve existing tools (e.g., comfort letters, bona fide prospective purchaser agreements, and prospective purchaser agreements) that would encourage investment in and/or acquisition of these sites to support cleanup and reuse.

Encouraging PRPs to Integrate Reuse Opportunities into Cleanups
June 11, 2018, 12 – 2 p.m. Eastern
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The goal of this recommendation is to facilitate and encourage potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to incorporate reuse work into the investigations and cleanups at National Priorities List (NPL) sites by providing them the necessary knowledge, connections, tools, and when appropriate, incentives. While performing cleanup work at NPL sites, PRPs are often reluctant to take actions necessary to facilitate reuse at the site. To effectively address this issue, EPA is looking to understand and address the myriad of burdens that might arise when a PRP takes on such work.

In this listening session, EPA would like to hear about:

  1. Generally, under what sort of circumstances will a PRP implement reuse opportunities while performing cleanup work?
  2. What can EPA provide to PRPs to incentivize PRPs to implement reuse opportunities into investigations and cleanups at NPL sites?
  3. How often do PRPs work with end users to perform assessments and additional cleanup/enhancements to achieve reuse objectives? What can EPA do to make this more common?

Revising EPA's "Common Elements" Guidance to Encourage Third Party Investment
June 11, 2018, 3 – 5 p.m. Eastern
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The goal of this recommendation is to comprehensively revise “Common Elements” based on the experience the Agency has gained through discussions with stakeholders, issuance of numerous other guidance documents, an understanding of relevant case law, and continuous site-specific work on issues related to the landowner liability protections. The listening session is open to the public.

This listening session will explore proposed revisions to the 2003 “Common Elements” guidance and will solicit input from stakeholders. Further, the session will cover a proposed new section in the guidance on the requirement that bona fide prospective purchasers and innocent landowners not dispose of hazardous substances after property acquisition.

In the listening session, EPA would like to hear about:

  • What changes to the 2003 “Common Elements” guidance will better serve to assist with new third-party investment in contaminated sites?
  • Are there particular updates/changes you would like to see in a revised “Common Elements” guidance that would provide better clarity/certainty for third parties in cleaning up contaminated sites?

Informing Parties about Streamlining the Cleanup and Redevelopment Process
June 13, 2018, 12 – 2 p.m. Eastern
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Beginning in the 1990s, EPA entered into prospective purchaser agreements, with parties interested in redeveloping contaminated Superfund sites. The prospective purchaser agreements provided certainty to the parties in exchange for consideration in the form of cash payments to cover costs EPA had spent at a site or costs EPA would incur while overseeing future cleanup work. Streamlining the process of increasing certainty for non-liable third parties performing cleanup and addressing those needs with the appropriate tool in a timely fashion is a fundamental tenet of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations Report.

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

  1. During the first meeting with EPA to discuss a potential project, what type of information do third parties want from EPA?
  2. Other than the Agency’s current informational tools (revitalization handbook, factsheets, etc.,), what other general enforcement-related tools would be helpful to address questions when deciding whether to pursue a project on contaminated property?
  3. Are there other steps that we should include in our checklist?

In May 2017, EPA established a task force to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and environment.