US EPA points out chem industry for clean-up costs

31 December 2009 16:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken action to ensure that the chemical manufacturing industry foots the bill for cleaning up environmental releases, the agency said on Thursday.

The agency said it has identified the chemical manufacturing industry as well as the petroleum and coal products manufacturing industries as sectors for which it will “begin the regulatory development process for any necessary financial assurance requirements”.

“Financial assurance requirements help ensure that owners and operators of facilities are able to pay for clean-up of environmental releases and help reduce the number of sites that need to be cleaned up by federal taxpayers through the Superfund programme,” the agency said.

The identification of the chemicals manufacturing industry as well as the other two industries is part of the agency’s responsibility under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - more commonly known as the Superfund law - “to examine if financial assurance requirements will help promote better environmental outcomes", the EPA said.

Under the Superfund law, a company that arranges for the disposal of toxic substances is liable for environmental damages resulting from those arrangements.

“The action announced today is not a proposed rule or a final regulation,” the agency said.

“For the sectors identified today, EPA also will begin the regulatory process for developing appropriate financial assurance requirements,” it said.

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By: Brian Ford
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