S. 1834 (103rd): Superfund Reform Act of 1994

Feb 07, 1994 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)
Died (Reported by Committee)
See Instead:

H.R. 4916 (same title)
Referred to Committee — Aug 08, 1994

Max Baucus
Senator from Montana
Read Text »
Last Updated
Sep 30, 1994
710 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 3800 (identical)

Reported by Committee
Last Action: May 18, 1994

H.R. 4916 (Related)
Superfund Reform Act of 1994

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Aug 08, 1994


This bill was introduced on August 3, 1994, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Feb 07, 1994
Referred to Committee Feb 07, 1994
Reported by Committee Aug 03, 1994
Full Title

A bill to amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, and for other purposes.


No summaries available.

1 cosponsors (1D) (show)

Senate Environment and Public Works

Senate Finance

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

9/30/1994--Reported to Senate amended, 2nd committee reporting.
Title I - Community Participation and Human Health Title II: State Roles Title III: Voluntary Environmental Cleanup Title IV: Liability and Allocation Title V: Remedy Selection and Cleanup Standards Title VI: Miscellaneous Title VII: Funding Title VIII: Environmental Insurance Resolution Fund Title IX: Environmental Insurance Resolution Taxes and Trust Fund; 5-Year Extension of Hazardous Substance Superfund Subtitle A: Environmental Insurance Resolution Taxes and Trust Fund Subtitle B: 5-Year Extension of Hazardous Substance Superfund Superfund Reform Act of 1994
Title I - Community Participation and Human Health
Amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA or Superfund) to authorize the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make technical assistance grants available to any group of individuals who may be affected by the release or threatened release of hazardous substances or pollutants at any facility on the State Registry or National Priorities List (NPL).
Section 101 -
Requires the President to provide for public participation in significant phases of response activities under CERCLA. Makes all nonprivileged information available to the public throughout all phases of the response action. Directs the President to ensure that the presentation of information on risk is complete and informative.
Section 102 -
Requires the President to facilitate the establishment of a representative public forum in the form of a Community Working Group (CWG) to achieve direct, regular, and meaningful consultation with all interested parties throughout all stages of a response action whenever:
(1) the President determines such a group will be helpful; or
(2) at least 50 citizens or 20 percent of the population of a community petition for a CWG to be established.
Authorizes CWGs to offer recommendations on the anticipated future use of land at an affected facility prior to the selection of a remedy.
Directs the Administrator to establish a Citizen Information and Access Ombudsman Office in:
(1) the EPA Office of Environmental Justice; and
(2) each regional EPA office.
Requires the Administrator to award grants to eligible groups within States to enable the groups to establish Citizen Information and Access Offices to disseminate information regarding covered facilities, response actions, legal rights of citizens, CWGs, alternative water supplies, relocation assistance, risks, and facility records.
Establishes a Citizen Information and Access Office National Governing Board. Authorizes the Administrator to award a separate grant to an Indian tribe affected by an NPL facility.
Directs the Administrator to submit a biennial Environmental Justice Study to the Congress.
Section 103 -
Requires the President, in setting priorities for taking remedial action, to:
(1) group facilities together, even if they are not adjacent, and score them as a single facility where more than one facility on the State Registry results in hazardous substances exposures to the same population;
(2) take into account the use of land or waterways for subsistence, religious, or cultural practices where such use results in additional exposures, in placing facilities on the NPL; and
(3) conduct interviews with persons affected by the facility and solicit their input in the hazard ranking system evaluation.
Authorizes the President to take into account any history of exposure to hazardous substances in the community regardless of the source of exposure, in placing facilities on the NPL. Requires the Administrator to:
(1) evaluate major urban and other areas where environmental justice concerns may warrant special attention; and
(2) identify five facilities in each region served by an EPA regional office that are, or should be, on the State Registry and that are likely to warrant inclusion on the NPL. Accords such facilities a priority in evaluation for NPL listing and scoring.
Authorizes the President, notwithstanding certain limitations on authorities to provide for response actions, to respond to a release outside the boundaries of a facility, subject to certain conditions, if a facility was placed on the NPL solely because of a history of exposure of a community to hazardous substances.
Section 104 -
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (currently, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)) to implement health authorities under CERCLA. Transfers the responsibility to perform health assessments from the ATSDR Administrator to the EPA Administrator.
Section 106 -
Directs the Secretary to coordinate with the Administrator to:
(1) improve the availability of environmental health services in communities that may have been, or may be, subject to exposure to a release of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants from an NPL or State Registry facility (or facility proposed for NPL listing) and that have a medically underserved population; and
(2) implement a program to train health care providers in the field of environmental health.
Requires the Secretary to collect environmental health data related to such exposures.
Directs the Administrator to evaluate such data to improve methodologies and standards for evaluating risk associated with exposure to multiple contaminants.
Title II - State Roles
Authorizes a State to apply to the Administrator to take or require the following preremedial actions under a contract at any non-federally owned or operated facility that is not listed or proposed for listing on the NPL: (1) site characterization; (2) hazard ranking system scoring to determine whether a facility shall be listed on the NPL; and (3) non-time critical removal actions.
Section 201 -
Permits States to apply to the Administrator for a delegation of authority to take or require other specified response actions under a contract at such facilities.
Sets forth requirements for State enforcement and allocation of liability.
Authorizes the President to take response actions to prevent an imminent endangerment to public health or the environment if a State fails to take response actions in a timely manner.
Requires the Administrator to study the feasibility of authorizing States to use their own laws to carry out CERCLA in lieu of using the Federal program.
Section 202 -
Prohibits funding to States for response actions, except for emergency removal actions, unless the affected State provides assurances that it will pay 15 percent of the cost of the action or funding and will ensure oversight of any operation and maintenance of response actions. Requires the Administrator to establish a program to provide grants to assist States in establishing State Registries.
Section 206 -
Authorizes States to apply to the Administrator to exercise the Administrator's authorities with respect to response actions at Federal facilities. Bases approval of transfer of authorities in part on a State's hazardous waste program authorization under the Solid Waste Disposal Act. Continues the existing limitations on transfers of authority from the Administrator to any other person under provisions regarding Federal facilities.
Title III - Voluntary Environmental Cleanup
Voluntary Environmental Cleanup and Economic Redevelopment Act of 1994 - Requires the Administrator to provide grants to States that establish voluntary environmental cleanup programs meeting specified requirements.
Section 304 -
Prohibits a facility addressed by an approved voluntary cleanup work plan from being listed or proposed for listing on the NPL so long as substantial and continual response actions are being undertaken to complete the plan. Permits listing of such a facility on the NPL if the facility has not achieved protective concentration levels and standards. Provides that voluntary cleanups shall not constitute admissions of liability.
Section 305 -
Directs the Secretary to establish a program to provide interest subsidy payments or credit enhancement on site characterization and cleanup loans made by participating lenders.
Requires credit enhancement to consist of a pledge that funds in the Economic Redevelopment Revolving Fund will be paid to the lender if all or part of a loan assisted is charged off.
Permits such loans to be used only:
(1) for voluntary cleanups under an approved State program by an applicant who is a current owner or prospective purchaser of the affected site or a local applicant; or
(2) to conduct a site characterization under such program by a local applicant.
Section 307 -
Establishes the Economic Redevelopment Revolving Fund in the Treasury. Transfers loan repayments to the Fund and makes the Fund available for the loan program.
Section 308 -
Authorizes and allocates appropriations.
Title IV - Liability and Allocation
Authorizes the President to issue administrative subpoenas to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of information regarding response actions. Revises confidentiality requirements with respect to such information and applies confidentiality requirements to contractors.
Section 403 -
Absolves of liability for response actions a person who does not impede a response action or natural resource restoration to the extent liability is based solely on:
(1) arrangement, transportation, or acceptance provisions relating to disposal or treatment of hazardous substances and such activities only involved municipal solid waste possessed by the person and the person is the owner, operator, or lessee of residential property or a small business or small nonprofit organization;
(2) such arrangement, transportation, or acceptance provisions and such activities involved fewer than 55 gallons of liquid materials (or 100 pounds of solid materials) containing hazardous substances, or such amount as the Administrator may determine;
(3) ownership or operation of a vessel or facility and the person is a bona fide prospective purchaser of the facility;
(4) ownership and the person acquired the facility by inheritance after disposal of the hazardous substances took place, did not contribute to the release, and exercised due care with respect to such substances;
(5) ownership by a Federal, State, or local entity of a road or other right-of-way over which hazardous substances are transported or on the granting of a license or permit to conduct business;
(6) actions of a Federal agency in response to a natural disaster; or
(7) ownership of a railroad or operation of a spur track subject to specified conditions.
Makes persons who are solely liable under arrangement, transportation, or acceptance provisions regarding disposal or treatment of hazardous substances liable for no more than ten percent of total response costs if such activities only involved municipal solid waste or sewage sludge.
Applies such limitation to the aggregate liability of all persons involved.
Applies such limitation only if acts or omissions giving rise to liability occurred before the date three years after this Act's enactment date or the person asserting the limitation participates in a qualified household hazardous waste collection program.
Grants the United States a lien, subject to certain conditions, on any facility for which the prospective purchaser is not liable for unrecovered response costs, a lien on other property, or other assurances of payment.
Revises provisions regarding the application of CERCLA to Federal agencies to make such agencies subject to all Federal, State, interstate, and local requirements regarding response actions related to, or management of, hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants in the same manner as such requirements apply to nongovernmental entities.
Absolves Federal employees of personal liability for civil penalties under Federal or State response laws with respect to acts or omissions within their official duties.
Makes such employees subject to criminal sanctions under such laws, but exempts Federal agencies from such sanctions.
Section 404 -
Makes persons who are liable under CERCLA liable for other necessary costs of response incurred by any other person, other than the United States, a State, or an Indian tribe (currently, any other person).
Directs the Administrator to calculate the EPA response action oversight costs for which potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are liable on a national basis as a percentage of total response costs incurred by PRPs (the national oversight rate).
Limits the rate to ten percent of total response costs incurred by all PRPs. Absolves persons engaging in remining activities from liability for response costs or damages subject to certain conditions.
Section 405 -
Revises contribution provisions to require an action by a PRP against another PRP for recovery of costs to be commenced within the later of: (1) three years after completion of a removal action or within six years after initiation of physical on-site construction of the remedial action; or (2) three years after the date of judgment in any action for recovery or the date of any administrative order or judicial settlement for recovery of costs or damages.
Section 406 -
Provides that a person who has resolved liability to a State or an Indian tribe in an administrative or judicially approved settlement shall not be liable for claims by persons other than the United States regarding response costs or damages addressed in the settlement.
Provides the same protection for persons who have resolved liability to the United States. Includes protection against all claims that may be asserted against the settling party for recovery of costs or damages paid by another person if addressed in the settlement, except claims based on contractual indemnification.
Limits the right to seek contribution from other parties where:
(1) the person asserting the right has waived such right in a settlement;
(2) the person from whom the contribution is sought is not liable under CERCLA; or
(3) the person from whom the contribution is sought has entered into a settlement with the United States. Makes any person who commences a contribution action liable to the person against whom the action is brought for all reasonable costs of defending against the claim, including reasonable attorney's and expert witness fees, if the action:
(1) is barred for the reasons stated above; or
(2) is brought during a specified moratorium period.
Section 408 -
Authorizes the President, if PRPs have paid or will be paying amounts to the President as part of a settlement for carrying out a response action, to assume ownership of a financial instrument running irrevocably to the benefit of the President to conduct such response actions.
Makes persons who unsuccessfully challenge any settlement between the Administrator and a PRP liable to the United States and the settling parties for all reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in defending the settlement.
Requires (current law authorizes) the President to offer PRPs (currently, any person) who enter into settlement agreements a final covenant not to sue concerning liability to the United States for response actions or costs, provided that:
(1) the settling party agrees to perform a final remedial action for the release that is the subject of the settlement;
(2) the remedial action does not provide that any hazardous substances will remain at the facility at concentrations above the protective concentration levels established after completion of the final action;
(3) the agreement has been reached prior to the commencement of litigation against the settling party;
(4) the settling party waives all contribution rights against other PRPs at the facility;
(5) the settling party pays a premium that compensates for the risks of remedy failure, unanticipated increases in the cost of any uncompleted action (unless the party is performing the action), and the U.S. litigation risk with respect to persons who have not resolved liability to the United States unless the settlement covers 100 percent of U.S. response costs;
(6) the settlement is otherwise acceptable to the United States; and
(7) the covenant not to sue is in the public interest.
Authorizes the President, for settlements for which covenants are unavailable, to provide any person with a covenant not to sue concerning any liability to the United States if the covenant not to sue is in the public interest.
Adds the following to the list of conditions that a PRP must meet in order to be eligible for an expedited settlement:
(1) liability must be based solely on provisions regarding arrangement, transportation, or acceptance of municipal solid waste or sewage sludge for treatment or disposal; and
(2) the PRP must be a natural person, small business, or a municipality that has demonstrated a limited ability to pay response costs.
Section 409 -
Directs the Administrator to initiate the allocation process under this Act for each nonfederally-owned facility on the NPL that involves two or more PRPs:
(1) for which the President selects a remedial action on or after February 3, 1994; and
(2) for any such action selected before such date if requested by a PRP that has resolved liability to the United States with respect to the remedial action.
Authorizes the Administrator to initiate such process for any facility involving two or more PRPs. Makes the allocation process inapplicable to a facility:
(1) for which there has been a final settlement, decree, or order that determines all liability or allocated shares of PRPs;
(2) for which a response action is being carried out by a State; or
(3) at which all of the PRPs are potentially liable facility owners or operators.
Authorizes an allocation process to address more than one facility.
Permits the Administrator to combine allocations for separate remedial actions at the same or different facilities.
Places a moratorium on the commencement or continuation of liability claims or contribution or recovery actions in connection with responses for which allocation is required until 90 days after the issuance of the allocator's report.
Sets forth requirements concerning the allocation process, including those for the notification of PRPs and determinations regarding de minimis parties.
Provides that de minimis parties that are entitled to expedited settlements shall not be subject to the allocation process unless they fail to settle with the President within 60 days of the offer.
Requires the allocation parties to select an allocator from a list provided by the Administrator or from candidates proposed by the parties.
Authorizes PRPs, prior to the issuance of the allocator's report, to submit a private allocation for the remedial action to the allocator.
Requires the allocator to adopt such report if it meets specified conditions.
Directs the allocator to conduct an allocation process culminating in the issuance of a report with a nonbinding, equitable allocation of the percentage shares of responsibility for response costs, including the orphan share, within 180 days of the issuance of the final list of parties or the date of the contract for allocation services, whichever is later.
Bases allocation shares on the following factors:
(1) the amount of hazardous substances contributed by each party;
(2) the degree of toxicity and mobility of such substances;
(3) the degree of involvement of each party in the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, or disposal of such substances;
(4) the degree of care exercised by the party;
(5) the cooperation of the party in contributing to the response action; and
(6) other factors determined by the Administrator. Sets forth components of orphan shares.
Requires shares that the allocator cannot attribute to any party to be distributed among parties, including the orphan share.
Authorizes the Administrator and the Attorney General to reject the allocator's report under certain conditions.
Permits settling parties to seek a new allocation if there is convincing evidence that the allocator did not have certain information when the report was issued.
Includes within settlements based on allocated shares:
(1) a waiver of contribution rights against all PRPs for the response action as well as a waiver of rights to challenge any settlement the President enters into with any other PRP;
(2) covenants not to sue;
(3) a site-specific premium that compensates for the U.S. litigation risk with respect to PRPs who have not resolved liability (unless the settlement covers 100 percent of response costs);
(4) contribution protection regarding matters addressed in the settlement;
(5) provisions through which the settling parties shall receive reimbursement from Superfund for response costs incurred in excess of the aggregate of their allocated share and any premiums required by the settlement; and
(6) a commitment that the United States shall pay for the orphan share backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Lists maximum amounts for premiums authorized for litigation risk.
Permits the Administrator to modify such amounts.
Authorizes the United States to commence actions against liable persons who have not resolved liability following allocation.
Sets forth conditions under which a party that performs work in excess of its allocated share may be reimbursed.
Limits Superfund financing for reimbursements of costs incurred by parties that are attributable to orphan shares.
Makes Federal agencies named as PRPs subject to the allocation process to the same extent as any other party.
Declares that the procedures set forth in this Act shall not be construed to modify the principles of retroactive, strict, joint, and several liability.
Section 410 -
Absolves persons (other than owners or operators) who arranged for the recycling of recyclable material from liability for environmental response actions.
Deems transactions involving scrap paper, plastic, glass, textiles, or rubber to be arranging for recycling if the person who arranged the transaction demonstrates that the following criteria were met:
(1) the recyclable material met a commercial specification grade and a market existed for the material;
(2) a substantial portion of the material was made available for use as a feedstock for the manufacture of a new saleable product;
(3) the material (or product made from the material) could have been a replacement for a virgin raw material; and
(4) with respect to transactions occurring 90 days after this Act's enactment, the person exercised reasonable care to determine that the facility where the material would be managed by another was in compliance with Federal, State, or local environmental laws or regulations.
Deems transactions involving scrap metal to be arranging for recycling if the person who arranged the transaction demonstrates that:
(1) the criteria for scrap materials were met;
(2) he or she complied with applicable standards regarding activities associated with the recycling of scrap metals; and
(3) the scrap metal was not melted prior to the transaction.
Deems transactions involving spent lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, or other batteries to be arranging for recycling if the person involved demonstrates that:
(1) the criteria for scrap materials were met; and
(2) he or she complied with applicable Federal environmental standards regarding such batteries.
Makes the exemptions from liability under this section inapplicable if the person:
(1) had an objectively reasonable basis to believe at the time of the recycling transaction that the recyclable material would not be recycled or would be burned as fuel or for energy recovery or incineration or that the consuming facility was not in compliance with Federal, State, or local environmental laws or regulations;
(2) added hazardous substances to the material for purposes other than processing or recycling; or
(3) failed to exercise reasonable care with respect to the management of the material.
Makes such exemptions inapplicable if the recyclable material contained polychlorinated biphenyls in excess of 50 parts per million or any new Federal standard.
Section 411 -
Limits CERCLA liability of insured depository institutions or other lenders in connection with property acquired through foreclosure, subject to a security interest, held by a lessor pursuant to an extension of credit, or subject to financial control pursuant to an extension of credit to the actual benefit conferred on the institution or lender by a removal, remedial, or other response action undertaken by another party.
Defines the "actual benefit" as the net gain realized by the institution or lender due to such action.
Provides that institutions or lenders that caused or contributed to hazardous substance releases may be liable for response actions.
Directs the Administrator to issue guidelines for such institutions and lenders to develop procedures to evaluate environmental risks that may arise from or at property prior to making an extension of credit secured by such property.
Provides that the liability of a fiduciary that is liable under other CERCLA provisions for releases in connection with property held in a fiduciary capacity may not exceed the assets held in such capacity that are available to indemnify the fiduciary.
Makes fiduciaries potentially liable for response actions if they caused or contributed to a hazardous substance release.
Lists additional conditions under which fiduciaries are exempted from liability.
Makes liability provisions regarding fiduciaries inapplicable to Federal banking or lending agencies.
Amends the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to absolve Federal banking or lending agencies of liability under any law imposing strict liability for the release of hazardous substances from property acquired in connection with:
(1) receivership or conservatorship authority or the liquidation of an insured depository institution;
(2) the provision of loans or other financial assistance; or
(3) property received in a civil or criminal proceeding or administrative enforcement action.
Extends such immunity to the first subsequent purchaser of property acquired from such an agency, except under certain conditions.
Provides that such an agency that causes or contributes to a release may be liable for response actions under CERCLA. Exempts such agencies from any law requiring them to grant covenants warranting that a response action has been, or will be taken, with respect to such acquired property.
Excludes from the definition of "owner or operator," for purposes of limiting liability under CERCLA, any person who:
(1) without participating in the management of a vessel or facility, holds indicia of ownership primarily to protect a security interest; or
(2) did not participate in management of a vessel or facility prior to foreclosure, even if such persons engage in specified foreclosure, business, or response activities.
Section 412 -
Limits the liability of certain religious, charitable, scientific, and educational organizations that hold title to a vessel or facility as a result of a charitable gift to the lesser of the fair market value of the vessel or facility or the actual proceeds of the sale of the vessel or facility. Sets forth conditions for eligibility for such limited liability.
Section 413 -
Directs the Administrator to establish a working group to study and report to the Congress on the potential liability of response action contractors and the potential impact of such liability on the cost and effectiveness of response actions.
Section 414 -
Limits, beginning with FY 1995, indirect cost expenditures to 35 percent of total cost expenditures. Defines "indirect cost expenditures" as disbursements from Superfund for activities that are not directly attributable to activities for a facility at which response actions have been, or are planned to be, taken. Provides that indirect cost expenditures that exceed such percentage shall not be considered as recoverable response costs.
Section 416 -
Provides that a person who owns or operates real property contiguous to property on which there has been a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance and that may be contaminated shall not be considered an owner or operator, for liability purposes, if such person:
(1) exercised due care with respect to such substance;
(2) took precautions against foreseeable acts or omissions that resulted in the release; and
(3) did not cause or contribute to the release.
Authorizes the President to issue assurances of no enforcement action to such person and to grant such person protection against cost recovery and contribution actions.
Title V - Remedy Selection and Cleanup Standards
Removes requirements regarding the conformance of remedial actions to State standards.
Section 501 -
Requires the national goal of protection of human health under CERCLA to be expressed as a single numerical health risk level that ensures a reasonable certainty of no harm from exposure to carcinogens.
Provides for a single numerical health risk level for noncarcinogens as well.
Authorizes the President, if the goal is technically infeasible or unreasonably costly, to select a protective concentration level or take a remedial action that does not achieve the goal.
Directs the Administrator to promulgate a national risk protocol for conducting risk assessments under CERCLA. Requires the risk protocol to be used for risk assessment underlying determinations of the need for remedial action, the establishment of protective concentration levels of chemicals, and the evaluation of remedial alternatives.
Requires remedial actions to:
(1) comply with substantive requirements of Federal, or more stringent State, environmental or facility siting laws;
(2) attain any promulgated concentration levels applicable to determining the level of cleanup for such actions; and
(3) comply with any other standard under State environmental or facility siting laws that the State demonstrates is consistently applied to remedial actions.
Authorizes the President to select a remedial action that does not comply with Federal and State standards subject to certain conditions.
Requires a remedial action, where a maximum contaminant level or a nonzero maximum contaminant level goal has been established for a hazardous substance pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act, to attain such level or goal with respect to such substance in any surface water or groundwater unless a more stringent action is necessary to protect wildlife or aquatic life consistent with designated uses and water quality criteria issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Requires remedial actions and protective concentration levels with respect to other substances in water that may be used for drinking water to attain the national goal described in Section 501.
Provides that remedial actions for contaminated groundwater (other than that used for drinking water) shall attain levels appropriate for current or anticipated future use.
Permits the President to select protective concentration levels that do not achieve the requirements for contaminated water if achievement is technically impracticable from an engineering perspective if certain conditions are met.
Requires the President, if remedial actions based on such levels are selected, to impose a premium considered as a response cost reflecting:
(1) the cost to monitor groundwater to ensure that requirements are met; and
(2) the opportunities to develop new remediation technologies.
Bases the amount of the premium on the severity of contamination.
Provides for the deposit of premiums in Superfund and authorizes appropriations of premiums to make grants to develop groundwater remediation technologies.
Applies the single numerical health risk level for carcinogens to radionuclides six months after the issuance of such level.
Directs the Administrator, if the same level of protection cannot be attained for a radionuclide, to establish an alternative quantifiable basis for setting a concentration level.
Requires remedial actions to include the provision of an alternate water supply for drinking and household purposes in cases where contamination is expected to result in the presence of a hazardous substance or pollutant in excess of the maximum contaminant level or nonzero maximum contaminant level goal established under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Section 502 -
Revises general rules for remedial actions. Directs the President, in selecting a remedy, to take into account the reasonably anticipated future uses of land at a facility. Provides certain procedures for the remediation of hot spots. Requires the President to establish cost-effective generic remedies for categories of facilities.
Section 504 -
Removes a condition on the President's authority to acquire property needed to conduct a response action that requires the State in which the property is located to agree to accept transfer of the property when the action is completed.
Section 505 -
Alters the criteria for the continuance of obligations for removal actions to provide that actions shall not continue after $4 million (currently, $2 million) have been obligated or two years (currently, 12 months) have elapsed from the date of initial response to a release or threatened release of hazardous substances.
Requires Federal agencies, before the commencement of any non-emergency removal action, to notify the EPA or the State, as appropriate, of the planned action and, except in the case in which the agency undertaking the action is the EPA, to obtain concurrence in the planned action from the EPA or the State.
Title VI - Miscellaneous
Relieves a Federal agency of certain actions required for Federal facilities under CERCLA, with the exception of certain reporting requirements, if the agency owned or operated a facility over which it exercised no regulatory or other control over activities that resulted in a release of a hazardous substance if:
(1) no Federal agency was the primary or sole source or cause of such release;
(2) the activities resulting in the release were pursuant to statutory authority and occurred prior to 1976; and
(3) the persons primarily responsible for the release are financially viable and capable of performing or financing the response action.
Voids such exemption if the agency fails to ensure the performance of a remedial investigation and feasibility study.
Section 604 -
Authorizes the use of Superfund to pay up to 50 percent of response costs incurred by a potentially liable party in taking approved actions to achieve response after employing an alternative or innovative treatment technology that fails to achieve the required level of response.
Section 605 -
Excludes from the definition of "owner or operator," for purposes of limiting liability, the United States, a Federal agency, or a conservator or receiver appointed by a Federal agency which acquired ownership of a facility or vessel in connection with receivership or conservatorship, forfeiture or seizure authority, or pursuant to an Act of the Congress, provided such entity does not participate in operations that result in a release.
Section 608 -
Directs the Administrator to establish a small business Superfund assistance section within the small business ombudsman office to provide assistance and information regarding CERCLA and the allocation and settlement processes.
Section 612 -
Authorizes the President to designate a Federal facility that is listed or proposed for listing on the NPL to facilitate the research, development, and application of innovative technologies for remedial action.
Section 614 -
Directs the Administrator to publish guidelines for a model State program for the training and certification of individuals to perform phase I environmental site assessments. Establishes the Environmental Certification Board.
Section 615 -
Expresses the sense of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that revenues resulting from the extension of the corporate environmental income tax should not be used to offset expenditures incurred as a result of welfare reform.
Title VII - Funding
Extends the authorization of appropriations to carry out specified Superfund authorities through FY 1999.
Title VIII - Environmental Insurance Resolution Fund
Environmental Insurance Resolution and Equity Act of 1994 - Establishes the Environmental Insurance Resolution Fund to resolve disputes between specified PRPs and their insurers.
Section 805 -
Authorizes the Fund to decide not to make an offer unless an eligible person has filed and is actively pursuing a claim with an insurer.
Section 806 -
Requires the Fund to make resolution offers to eligible persons equal to the applicable percentage of the lesser of the eligible costs incurred by the persons or the available coverage. Describes applicable percentages based on facility location and size, litigation venues, and State.
Section 807 -
Directs eligible persons that accept Fund resolutions to waive existing and future claims against an insurer for eligible costs.
Section 808 -
Requires the Fund to make pre- and post-resolution payments to eligible persons who accept a resolution. Treats payments made by the Fund to an eligible person as payments made by an insurer.
Section 809 -
Makes eligible persons that reject resolution offers, litigate claims with respect to coverage of costs against an insurer, and obtain final judgments that are less favorable than those offered by the Fund liable to an insurer for 40 percent of the reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation and direct costs at eligible facilities that are incurred after the date of the resolution offer by the insurer.
Authorizes the Fund, in such cases, to reimburse an insurer for unrecovered reasonable costs and legal fees if the resolution offer exceeded such final judgment or settlement.
Section 811 -
Provides that this title acts as a stay of all pending litigation regarding claims for indemnity or arising from insurance coverage for eligible costs.
Section 815 -
Directs the President to report on: (1) the potential liability of the Fund; and (2) the number of non-NPL facilities and their average cleanup cost.
Section 817 -
Terminates the Fund's authority to: (1) accept requests for resolution ten years after this Act's enactment date; and (2) offer resolutions ten years and 180 days after such date.
Title IX - Environmental Insurance Resolution Taxes and Trust Fund; 5-Year Extension of Hazardous Substance Superfund
Subtitle A - Environmental Insurance Resolution Taxes and Trust Fund
Amends provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to environmental taxes to establish environmental insurance resolution taxes. Imposes a tax on each assessable person engaged in any trade or business that is equal to: (1) such person's adjusted base-period commercial direct premiums multiplied by the applicable direct funding rate; and (2) such person's adjusted base-period commercial reinsurance premiums multiplied by the applicable reinsurance funding rate.
Section 901 -
Sets the exemption amount for any person at $200 million.
Treats participants in joint underwriting operations of insurance and those treated as single employers as one person and allocates the exemption amount between participants.
Makes the adjusted base-period commercial reinsurance premiums of any person the aggregate inflation-adjusted reinsurance premiums for all base-period years (1968-1985).
Treats such premiums as zero if they do not exceed a de minimis amount.
Imposes a tax on a policy of casualty insurance against hazards, risks, losses, or liabilities in the United States or related policies of reinsurance on which premiums are written by foreign persons.
Requires such tax to be equal to .50 percent of the maximum limit of liability of such persons under such policies.
Sets forth conditions under which foreign persons are exempt from such tax (including cases where foreign persons may be taxed as assessable persons).
Imposes a tax (on current-year premiums) equal to the direct premiums written under specified insurance policies issued against hazards, risks, losses, or liabilities within the United States multiplied by the applicable funding rate.
Exempts policies related to directors and officers liability insurance, professional liability insurance, certain property damage insurance, personal liability umbrella insurance, and insurance on personal articles.
Sets the exemption amount for such tax at $5 million.
Establishes a special withholding rule for premiums issued by foreign persons unless the income from the premiums is connected with a U.S. trade or business and is not exempt from income tax pursuant to a treaty.
Imposes assessments on insurers resolving claims with the Environmental Insurance Resolution Trust Fund. Requires such assessments to be in an amount equal to an insurer's Fund-certified percentages of the direct insurance limits.
Provides that such assessments are excise taxes and shall be imposed and collected in the same manner as other excise taxes.
Section 902 -
Establishes the Environmental Resolution Trust Fund to be composed of environmental insurance resolution taxes and amounts in the Environmental Insurance Resolution Fund established under title VIII of this Act. Makes the Trust fund available to carry out title VIII.
Section 903 -
Exempts the Environmental Insurance Resolution Fund from income tax.
Subtitle B - 5-Year Extension of Hazardous Substance Superfund
Provides for a five-year extension of Superfund.

House Republican Conference Summary

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