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NLC backs EPA proposal on liability cap.

NLC Executive Director Don Borut, last week urged President Bush to approve a draft EPA proposal providing favorable settlements for cities and towns that generated or transported municipal solid waste (i.e., waste generated primarily by households) to Superfund sites. The agency's proposal would cap transporter/generator liability for Superfund site clean up costs at approximately four percent, not the EPA recommendation that would have designated the municipal share at over 60 percent.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's draft proposal represents a significant and favorable shift in federal policy toward municipalites," Borut said. In recommending a new municipal settlements policy, he continued, "EPA recognizes the unique status of municipalities involved in Superfund sites as transporters and generators of municipal solid waste."

EPA's proposed new formula for calculating the municipal contribution to clean up of Superfund sites for genarators and transporters of ordinary municipal solid waste and sewage sludge is based on the ratio of the cost to clean up an acre of municipal solid waste (estimated at $94,000 per acre) vis-a-vis the cost to clean up an acre of industrial hazardous waste (estimated at $2,279,000 per acre). The resulting ratio is then multiplied by the cost of total clean up.

For example, if the total clean up cost for a superfund site is $20 million, the settlement contribution for all generators and transporters of municipa solid waste using the unit cost formula would be .04 x $20,000,000 or $800,000.

The unit cost approach is uncomplicated and provides cities and towns with a straightforward methof for calculating their settlement contributions. Although the draft policy would only apply to transporters and generators of municipal solid wate, EPA will be soliciting comments from potentially liable municipal owners and operators.

To obtain a copy of the EPA draft proposal, contact Sandra Yamane, at (202 626-3020.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National League of Cities; Environmental Protection Agency
Author:Yamane, Sandy
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 6, 1992
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