Summary: H.R.6199 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6199. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/06/1992)

Voluntary Environmental Response Act of 1992 - Applies this Act to any facility where there has been a release or threat of release of a hazardous substance into the environment. Makes this Act inapplicable to: (1) any portion of a facility with respect to which a Record of Decision has been issued by the President under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); (2) any portion of a facility with respect to which an administrative or judicial order or consent decree requiring remedial action has been issued under CERCLA, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act, or the Safe Drinking Water Act; (3) any land disposal unit for which a closure notification under RCRA has been submitted and closure requirements have been specified; or (4) any portion of a facility with respect to which a corrective action permit or order has been issued, modified, or amended.

Authorizes States to apply to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer the voluntary response program under this Act, subject to certain requirements.

Permits any person to submit a notification of intent to conduct a voluntary response and requires such person to agree to pay the direct costs incurred by the Administrator or the State in reviewing the response action plan overseeing the response. Directs the Administrator to establish procedures for arbitration of disputes concerning reimbursement of costs.

Requires persons intending to perform responses to: (1) conduct a facility investigation which assesses specified factors that are necessary to determine an appropriate response to a release; and (2) set forth such response in a response action plan to be submitted with the facility investigation report to the Administrator or the State.

Sets forth response action plan approval procedures. Provides for waivers of response requirements if: (1) compliance with response standards under this Act will result in greater health and environmental risks than alternative options; (2) compliance is impracticable from an engineering perspective; (3) the response action will attain a level of protection equivalent to that provided by such standards; or (4) contaminants will not travel the expected exposure pathways.

Sets forth recordkeeping and reporting requirements for persons conducting voluntary responses and requires certifications that responses have been completed in accordance with an approved plan.

Requires the National Academy of Sciences to review and report to the Administrator on the risk assessment methodology used by EPA to determine response standards for contaminants in soil and groundwater and improvements in such methodology.

Directs the Administrator to promulgate numerical response standards for: (1) soil and groundwater that are protective of human health and the environment for a minimum of the 100 hazardous substances which are most commonly found at facilities subject to this Act; (2) soils on residential, commercial, and industrial property; and (3) groundwater which can be expected to serve as a source of public drinking water. Requires all voluntary responses, pending promulgation of such standards, to attain response standards derived on a site-specific, case-by-case basis. Lists satisfactory alternate response standards.

Provides that: (1) no Federal, State, or local permit shall be required for voluntary responses; and (2) performance of a response shall not constitute an admission of liability or be admissible as evidence in citizens' suits or private actions.

Authorizes the Administrator to require additional response actions only if: (1) the voluntary response has not been substantially completed; or (2) there is new information that was not available at the time of response action plan approval that would have justified the application of substantially different conditions at the time of approval.

Prescribes penalties for failures to comply with response plan conditions.

Deems voluntary responses to be in compliance with specified Federal environmental laws and provides that further response action shall not be required for matters addressed in a voluntary response plan.