Summary: S.2028 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2028. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (08/02/1996)


Title I: Brownfield Remediation and Environmental Cleanup

Title II: Prospective Purchasers

Title III: Fiduciary and Lender Liability

Title IV: Innocent Landowners

Brownfields and Environmental Cleanup Act of 1996 - Title I: Brownfield Remediation and Environmental Cleanup - Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a program to provide grants to local governments to inventory brownfield sites and conduct site characterizations of affected sites at which cleanups are being conducted or are proposed under a State program. Defines an "affected site," with exceptions, as a facility that has or is suspected of having environmental contamination that: (1) could prevent the timely use, development, reuse, or redevelopment of the facility; and (2) is relatively limited in scope or severity and can be comprehensively characterized and readily analyzed.

(Sec. 102) Directs the Administrator to establish a program to provide grants to State and local governments for capitalization of loan programs for affected site cleanup by either the State or locality or by an owner or prospective purchaser.

(Sec. 104) Makes amounts in the Hazardous Substance Superfund (the Fund) available to carry out the grant programs of this Act. Authorizes appropriations from the Fund.

(Sec. 105) Authorizes appropriations to EPA to carry out the site characterization and loan capitalization programs. Requires reports to the Congress regarding the programs.

(Sec. 107) Imposes funding limitations, including a restriction on use of funds for administrative costs and a prohibition on the use of grants to pay fines or penalties.

Title II: Prospective Purchasers - Amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to absolve from liability for response actions bona fide prospective purchasers to the extent liability at a facility for a release or threat thereof is based solely on ownership or operation of a facility. Gives a lien upon a facility to the United States for unrecovered response costs in any case in which there are such unrecovered costs for which the owner is not liable by reason of the facility's fair market value being increased above that which existed 180 days before the action was taken.

Title III: Fiduciary and Lender Liability - Amends CERCLA to limit the liability of a fiduciary for the release or threatened release of a hazardous substance to the assets held in such capacity that are available to indemnify the fiduciary, subject to certain conditions.

Revises the definition of "owner or operator" to further describe "participation in management," for purposes of limiting the liability of lenders for releases. (The definition of "owner or operator" excludes persons who, without participating in management of a vessel or facility, hold indicia of ownership to protect security interests.) Deems a final EPA rule regarding lender liability issued on April 29, 1992, to have been validly issued pursuant to the authority of CERCLA and to have been effective according to the final rule's terms. Precludes jurisdiction of a court to review the rule.

Title IV: Innocent Landowners - Amends CERCLA, with respect to defenses to liability of an owner of after-acquired property, to deem a person to have made appropriate inquiry into the property's previous ownership and uses if the person establishes that an environmental site assessment was conducted which meets specified requirements. Revises provisions regarding the making of appropriate inquiry by a defendant to require the Administrator to issue or designate standards and practices that are considered generally accepted good commercial and customary standards and practices for purposes of such inquiry. Specifies factors to be considered.