EPA Task Force Issues Recommendations to Reform Superfund Program

  • United States
  • 08/09/2017
  • Copyright © 2017 Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All rights reserved.

The proposed reforms seek to accelerate cleanup and reuse of sites to reduce risks, reduce costs, and hasten redevelopment.

A key initiative of new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has been to reform the federal Superfund program, the principal program under which contaminated sites across the country are cleaned up. On May 22, 2017, Administrator Pruitt established a “Superfund Task Force” to provide recommendations on how EPA can “restructure the cleanup process, realign incentives of all involved parties to promote expeditious remediation, reduce the burden on cooperating parties, incentivize parties to remediate sites, encourage private investment in cleanups and sites and promote the revitalization of properties across the country.” On July 25, 2017, the Superfund Task Force released its report, which identifies 14 strategies and 42 specific recommendations to achieve the following five goals:

  • Expediting cleanup and remediation
  • Reinvigorating responsible party cleanup and reuse
  • Encouraging private investment
  • Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization
  • Engaging partners and stakeholders

Ultimately, the goals, strategies, and recommendations of the Task Force all seek to identify ways of accelerating the cleanup and reuse of Superfund sites in order to reduce risks to human health and the environment, reduce both program and cleanup costs, and hasten the return of contaminated sites to productive use.