H.R.2727 - Superfund Acceleration, Fairness, and Efficiency Act105th Congress (1997-1998)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Boehlert, Sherwood [R-NY-23] (Introduced 10/23/1997)|
|Committees:||House - Commerce; Transportation and Infrastructure; Ways and Means|
|Latest Action:||06/17/1998 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (All Actions)|
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- Environmental Protection
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Summary: H.R.2727 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Bill Information (Except Text)
Introduced in House (10/23/1997)
Title I: Remedy Selection and Environmental Standards
Title II: Community Participation and Human Health
Subtitle A: Community Participation
Subtitle B: Human Health
Title III: Liability Reform
Title IV: Brownfields Revitalization
Title V: State Role
Title VI: Natural Resources Damages
Title VII: Oil Pollution
Title VIII: Miscellaneous
Title IX: Funding
Subtitle A: Expenditures From the Hazardous Substance
Subtitle B: 5-Year Extension of Hazardous Substance
Superfund Acceleration, Fairness, and Efficiency Act - Title I: Remedy Selection and Environmental Standards - Amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to revise remedy selection provisions.
Authorizes remedial actions to achieve protection of human health and the environment through: (1) treatment that reduces the toxicity, mobility, or volume of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants; (2) natural attenuation; (3) containment or other controls to limit exposure or release; (4) removal of contaminated media; (5) a combination of treatment, containment, and removal; or (6) other methods of protection. (Current law requires that actions in which treatment which permanently and significantly reduces the volume, toxicity, or mobility of such substances is a principal element are to be preferred over actions not involving such treatment.)
Requires the President to give preference to remedies that include a treatment component for discrete areas within a facility that contain: (1) high concentrations of highly toxic substances that present such a threat to human health or the environment that it would be imprudent to rely solely on remedies that exclude such component; or (2) high concentrations of such substances that cannot be controlled reliably through engineered barriers and therefore could present such threats if not treated.
Directs the President, in any case in which a selected action allows hazardous substances to remain on-site at a facility above concentration levels that would be protective for unrestricted use, to: (1) include, as an integral component of the remedy, restrictions on the use of land, water or other resources to provide long-term health and environmental protection; (2) not determine the remedy to be complete until a mechanism is established to ensure ongoing monitoring and operation and maintenance of the remedy and until necessary institutional controls are implemented and subject to monitoring and enforcement; and (3) ensure that such controls remain in effect as long as necessary to protect human health and the environment.
Authorizes the President to use institutional controls as a supplement to, but not as a substitute for, other response measures except in extraordinary circumstances.
Establishes public notice requirements with respect to the selection of remedies at facilities relying on such controls.
Directs the President to maintain a registry of restrictions on the use of land, water, or other resources through institutional controls that are included in final records of decision as an integral component of the remedy at facilities that are, or have been, on the National Priorities List (NPL).
Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to report annually to specified congressional committees on each record of decision signed during the previous fiscal year, the type of institutional controls and media affected, and the institution designated to monitor, enforce, and ensure compliance with such controls.
(Sec. 104) Revises requirements for the degree of cleanup. Requires the President, in determining what is protective of human health and the environment, to conduct site-specific human health and ecological risk assessments. Bases human exposure assessments on the reasonably anticipated uses of land and water. Bases determinations of what is protective of plants and animals on the significance of impacts from a release or threatened release of hazardous substances to a local ecosystem and plant and animal communities or populations.
Requires selected remedies to take into account reasonably anticipated beneficial uses of: (1) land at a facility and, as appropriate, of nearby property; and (2) groundwater that are or may be impacted by releases or threatened releases and the timing of such uses. Sets forth assumptions to be made by the Administrator regarding such uses.
Requires remedial actions with respect to hazardous substances that will remain onsite to comply with requirements applicable to the operation of such actions and that will attain at least any promulgated concentration levels applicable to determining the level of cleanup for actions under: (1) a Federal environmental or facility siting law legally applicable to the substance concerned; or (2) a legally applicable State law that is identified by the State to the President as applicable at the facility to the proposed remedial alternative, that is of general applicability, and that is consistently applied to response actions in the State.
Requires final remedies, to the extent technically practicable, to prevent impairment of any designated use of surface water under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and to ensure that uncontaminated groundwater is protected from contamination unless: (1) the remedial action includes natural attenuation to facilitate restoration of groundwater to beneficial use within a reasonable period of time; (2) an alternative concentration limit has been adopted; or (3) the groundwater has no beneficial use. Requires final remedies to prevent or eliminate, at a minimum, human ingestion or exposure to drinking water containing hazardous substances in levels exceeding Maximum Contaminant Levels under the Safe Drinking Water Act, including the provision of an alternative water supply.
(Sec. 105) Directs the President to consider new procedures for conducting remedial investigations and feasibility studies in an efficient, cost-effective, and timely manner. Provides for a phased approach to site characterization and remediation in which remedies are arrived at through a sequence of investigations and actions.
(Sec. 106) Authorizes the President, to expedite and increase the efficiency of the remedy selection process, to establish generic remedies where such remedies are demonstrated to be effective in protecting human health and the environment. Permits such remedies to provide for consideration of site-specific factors along with generic approaches for particular categories of sites. Waives the requirement for a site-specific risk assessment (other than a baseline) in cases where generic remedies are applied.
Permits the Administrator to issue waivers of generic remedies if information submitted by the interested party demonstrates that a generic remedy is inappropriate or that another alternative can protect human health and the environment through less costly means.
(Sec. 107) Authorizes the President, in order to respond to a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, to acquire a hazardous substance easement which limits or controls the use of land or other natural resources. Permits easements to be used whenever institutional controls have been selected as a component of a remedial action and the national contingency plan. Makes easements enforceable in perpetuity (unless terminated pursuant to this Act) against owners of affected property or persons who acquire interest in, or rights to use, the property. Sets forth provisions regarding the President's authority to assign easements to other parties.
(Sec. 108) Requires risk assessments and characterizations conducted under CERCLA to: (1) provide objective assessments, estimates, and characterizations which neither minimize nor exaggerate the nature and magnitude of health and environmental risks; (2) distinguish scientific findings from other considerations; (3) be based on the best, relevant, and current scientific and technical information; and (4) be based on a careful analysis of the weight of scientific evidence that supports conclusions about a problem's potential health and environmental risk.
Directs the President to: (1) update and publish exposure and ecological risk assessment guidelines consistent with such principles; and (2) conduct a study of the cancer potency values of 12 specified hazardous substances frequently found to pose significant risks at NPL facilities.
(Sec. 109) Requires the President to establish a National Superfund Remedy Review Board to control remedy costs and to provide for protective, consistent, and cost-effective remedial decisions at NPL facilities.
Directs the Board, for remedial alternatives identified after this Act's enactment date and following identification of a preferred remedy, to review remedies for NPL facilities for which the estimated cost of the preferred remedy exceeds $15 million. Permits the Board to review remedies for which the estimated cost is less than such amount, if requested. Authorizes the President to establish a different threshold for remedy review for U.S.-owned or operated facilities. Provides for public notice of such reviews.
(Sec. 110) Directs the President to review past Superfund records of decision, upon request of an interested party within 12 months of this Act's enactment date, to ensure that such decisions reflect the current state of knowledge with respect to remediation science and technology and to improve the cost-effectiveness of site remediation while ensuring long-term health and environmental protection. Defines a past record of decision as one selecting a remedy for an NPL site that was signed prior to October 2, 1995, and that has not been reviewed pursuant to a specified EPA directive or otherwise updated since such date.
Title II: Community Participation and Human Health - Subtitle A: Community Participation - Requires the President to take specified actions to provide for meaningful public participation in every significant phase of a response action at a facility listed or proposed for listing on the NPL (covered facilities).
Permits Community Advisory Groups, affected Indian tribes and communities, local government officials, and State and local health officials to propose remedial alternatives to the President.
(Sec. 203) Requires the President to make records relating to response actions at covered facilities available to the public throughout all phases of an action.
Sets forth minimum requirements for documents made available to the public which describe risk to human health.
(Sec. 204) Authorizes a State with an NPL site to establish a Superfund Site Information Office. Requires the Administrator to provide financial and other assistance to States for establishment and operation of such Offices. Directs the Administrator to establish such Offices within EPA for States that fail to do so.
(Sec. 205) Revises provisions regarding grants for technical assistance to authorize the Administrator to make such grants to Community Advisory Groups or affected communities with respect to: (1) covered facilities; (2) facilities at which the Administrator is undertaking a response action anticipated to exceed one year; or (3) facilities at which a specified funding limit is anticipated to be reached.
(Sec. 207) Sets forth specific notice and comment requirements to provide for public participation in removal actions.
(Sec. 208) Requires the President to provide the opportunity for the establishment of a Community Advisory Group, a representative public forum, to achieve direct, regular, and meaningful consultation with all interested parties throughout all stages of a response action whenever: (1) the President determines such a group will be helpful; or (2) 25 individuals residing in the area in which the facility is located, or ten percent of the population of a locality in which the NPL facility is located, whichever is fewer, petition for a Group to be established. Authorizes such Groups to offer recommendations on the anticipated future use of land at a facility prior to the selection of a remedy.
Authorizes the President to provide technical and administrative support for such Groups.
(Sec. 209) Directs the Administrator to submit to the Congress and Superfund Site Information Offices a community study that includes an analysis of: (1) the duration of time between the discovery and listing of a facility; (2) the timing and nature of response actions; (3) the degree to which public views are reflected in response actions; (3) future land use determinations and use of institutional controls; (4) the population, race, ethnicity, and income characteristics of communities affected by facilities listed or proposed for listing on the NPL; and (5) the risk presented by each such facility. Requires periodic updates of such study. Directs the Administrator to institute necessary improvements or modifications to address any deficiencies identified by the study.
Subtitle B: Human Health - Requires the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Administrator to develop and distribute educational materials on human health effects of hazardous substances to the public.
Authorizes the ATSDR Administrator to provide grant or contract assistance to individuals who may be affected by releases or threatened releases when: (1) a public health assessment is conducted at an NPL facility; or (2) a facility is being evaluated for inclusion on the NPL.
Authorizes and directs the ATSDR Administrator, pursuant to such grants or contracts, to provide diagnostic services, health data registries, and preventative public health education to communities affected by such releases.
(Sec. 223) Requires the President, in setting priorities for remedial action under the national hazardous substance response plan (part of the national contingency plan for the removal of oil and hazardous substances), to place highest priority on facilities with releases resulting in actual ongoing human exposures at levels of public health concern or demonstrated adverse effects.
(Sec. 224) Requires the Administrator to evaluate areas such as Indian country or poor rural communities that warrant special attention and identify up to five facilities in each EPA region that are likely to warrant inclusion on the NPL. Accords such facilities a priority in evaluation for NPL listing and scoring.
Title III: Liability Reform - Revises limits on obligations from the Hazardous Substance Superfund (Superfund) to continue response actions. Bars the President from taking or requiring response actions at any facility after $4 million has been expended or two years have elapsed from the date of initial response unless the facility is on or proposed to be on the NPL or: (1) continued response actions are required to prevent or mitigate an emergency; (2) there is immediate risk to public health or welfare or the environment; and (3) such assistance will not be otherwise provided on a timely basis.
Revises confidentiality requirements with respect to information regarding response actions and applies such requirements to contractors.
(Sec. 302) Bars the President from issuing orders in connection with abatement actions to protect public health and the environment against any person who would not be liable for damages and costs described under general liability provisions.
(Sec. 304) Absolves of liability for response costs and damages certain owners or operators and contiguous property owners, including persons who inherited the property concerned or received it by charitable donation and government entities that acquired property involuntarily or through eminent domain, if such persons: (1) did not cause or contribute to the hazardous substance release that caused the incurrence of response costs; and (2) exercised due care with respect to such substance. Exempts from liability construction contractors whose liability is based solely on construction contract activities and who did not know of the presence of hazardous substances and exercised due care upon discovery of such substances.
Grants the United States a lien for unrecovered response costs on a facility for which the owner is not liable by reason of meeting the conditions described above. Prescribes conditions for such liens. Bars liens with respect to property: (1) for which the property owner preceding the current owner is not liable or has resolved liability; or (2) where an environmental assessment gave the owner or operator no reason to know of the release of hazardous substances.
(Sec. 305) Absolves certain small businesses and de minimis parties of liability with respect to actions taken before October 23, 1997. Removes such exemption if the de minimis materials contribute significantly to response costs or to natural resource damages.
Directs the Administrator to establish a small business Superfund assistance section within the EPA small business ombudsman office to provide assistance and information regarding CERCLA and the allocation and settlement processes.
(Sec. 306) Revises contribution provisions to require an action by a potentially responsible party (PRP) against another PRP for recovery of costs to be commenced within the later of: (1) three years after completion of a removal action or within six years after initiation of physical on-site construction for a remedial action; or (2) three years after the date of judgment in any action for recovery or the date of any administrative order or judicial settlement for recovery of costs or damages.
Provides that a person who has resolved liability to a State or an Indian tribe in an administrative or judicially approved settlement shall not be liable for claims by persons other than the United States regarding response costs or damages addressed in the settlement. Provides the same protection for persons who have resolved liability to the United States (except for liability to a State for remedial or removal action costs). Includes protection against all claims that may be asserted against the settling party for recovery of costs or damages paid by another person if addressed in the settlement, except claims based on contractual indemnification.
Limits the right to seek contribution from other parties where: (1) the person asserting the right has waived such right in a settlement; (2) the person from whom the contribution is sought is not liable under CERCLA; or (3) the person from whom the contribution is sought has entered into a final settlement with the United States. Makes any person who commences a contribution action liable to the person against whom the action is brought for all reasonable costs of defending against the claim if the action: (1) is barred for the reasons stated above; (2) is brought against a person who is protected from suits by reason of settlement with the United States; or (3) is brought during a specified moratorium period.
(Sec. 307) Expands the exemption from liability for response action contractors to include exemption from liability under State or local law unless a State has enacted a law determining liability of such contractors.
Extends certain indemnification agreements made by the President with respect to negligence of response action contractors to any claims for negligence arising under State or local law.
Extends certain provisions relating to surety bonds with respect to direct Federal procurement of response actions.
Bars actions against contractors more than six years after the completion of work. Makes such prohibition inapplicable in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct or in States or political subdivisions where the State has enacted a statute determining liability for such contractors.
(Sec. 308) Requires consent decrees pursuant to settlements to require the parties to attempt expeditiously to resolve disagreements concerning implementation of the remedial action informally with Federal and State agencies. Requires such decrees to provide authority for the Federal district court with jurisdiction to resolve disagreements. Authorizes the Administrator, if a PRP will be paying amounts to the President as part of a settlement for carrying out a response action, to accept ownership of a financial instrument running irrevocably to the benefit of the United States to conduct such response actions.
Revises provisions regarding mixed funding to require the President to reimburse parties from Superfund where settlements or administrative orders require them to perform response actions at NPL sites where the costs will exceed the aggregate equitable shares of costs. Provides special conditions for funding with respect to settlements entered into, or orders issued, before October 23, 1997.
Authorizes the President to delay reimbursements in fiscal years in which funds are unavailable.
Requires (current law authorizes) the President to offer PRPs (currently, any person) who enter into settlement agreements that are in the public interest a final covenant not to sue concerning liability to the United States for response actions or costs, provided that: (1) the settling party agrees to perform a final remedial action for the release that is the subject of the settlement; (2) the agreement has been reached prior to the commencement of litigation against the settling party; (3) the settling party waives all contribution rights against other PRPs at the facility; (4) the settling party pays a premium that compensates for the risks of remedy failure, future liability, and unanticipated increases in the cost of any uncompleted action (unless the party is performing the action); (5) the remedial action does not rely on institutional controls to ensure continued health and environmental protection; and (6) the settlement is otherwise acceptable to the United States.
Authorizes the President, for settlements for which covenants are unavailable, to provide any person with a covenant not to sue concerning any liability to the United States if the covenant not to sue is in the public interest.
Makes PRPs who are natural persons, small businesses, or municipalities with a demonstrated limited ability to pay response costs eligible for expedited settlements.
(Sec. 309) Absolves persons (other than owners or operators) who arranged for the recycling of recyclable material or who transported such material from liability for environmental response actions with respect to NPL facilities.
Deems transactions involving scrap paper, plastic, glass, textiles, or rubber (other than whole tires) to be arranging for recycling if the person who arranged the transaction demonstrates that the following criteria were met: (1) the recyclable material met a commercial specification grade and a market existed for the material; (2) a substantial portion of the material was made available for use as a feedstock for the manufacture of a new saleable product; (3) the material (or product made from the material) could have been a replacement for a virgin raw material; and (4) with respect to transactions occurring 90 days after this Act's enactment, the person exercised reasonable care to determine that the facility where the material would be managed by another was in compliance with Federal, State, or local environmental laws or regulations.
Deems transactions involving scrap metal to be arranging for recycling if the person who arranged the transaction demonstrates that: (1) the criteria for scrap materials were met; (2) he or she complied with applicable standards regarding activities associated with the recycling of scrap metals; and (3) the scrap metal was not melted prior to the transaction.
Deems transactions involving spent lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, or other batteries to be arranging for recycling if the person involved demonstrates that: (1) the criteria for scrap materials were met; and (2) he or she complied with applicable Federal environmental standards regarding such batteries.
Deems transactions involving used oil to be arranging for recycling if the person involved demonstrates that: (1) the recyclable material was sent to a facility that recycled used oil by using it as a feedstock for the manufacture of a new saleable product; (2) the material was not mixed with hazardous waste regardless of when generated; (3) the material (or product made from the material) could have been a replacement for a virgin raw material; (4) with respect to transactions occurring 90 days after this Act's enactment, the person exercised reasonable care to determine that the facility where the material would be managed by another was in compliance with Federal, State, or local environmental laws or regulations; (5) he or she was in compliance with standards for the management of used oil under the Solid Waste Disposal Act; and (6) the transaction was not for the purpose of recycling used oil by using it for dust suppression.
Makes the exemptions from liability inapplicable if the person: (1) had an objectively reasonable basis to believe at the time of the recycling transaction that the recyclable material would not be recycled or would be burned as fuel or for energy recovery or incineration (in the case of materials other than used oil) or that the consuming facility was not in compliance with Federal, State, or local environmental laws or regulations; (2) had reason to believe that hazardous substances had been added to the material for purposes other than processing for recycling; or (3) failed to exercise reasonable care with respect to the management of the material.
Makes such exemptions inapplicable if the recyclable material contained: (1) polychlorinated biphenyls in excess of the threshold for regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act; or (2) a concentration of a solid waste determined by the Administrator to be inherently waste-like (including certain hazardous wastes and sludges) pursuant to specified Federal regulations.
(Sec. 310) Requires the President, upon request of two or more PRPs at an NPL facility or vessel, to initiate an allocation for a response action at such facility or vessel if: (1) the action is not the subject of a consent decree entered, or an administrative order issued, before October 23, 1997; and (2) the aggregate costs of all actions at such facility or vessel are estimated to exceed $5 million. Provides for allocations, upon request of such parties, for actions that are undergoing construction pursuant to such decrees or orders if provided for under Section 311 of this Act.
Makes the allocation process inapplicable to any U.S.-owned or operated facility or vessel and any facility or vessel for which there is only one PRP or for which there has been a final settlement, decree, or order that determines the allocated shares of all PRPs.
Sets forth requirements for the President in initiating the allocation process.
Authorizes the Administrator or the Attorney General, as representatives of Superfund, and any State that may be responsible for costs, to participate in allocation proceedings.
Places a moratorium on litigation seeking recovery of response costs or contributions in connection with actions for which the President has initiated allocations until 150 days after issuance of the allocator's report or of a subsequent report under this section. Stays pending actions or claims, including those under State law, until such prescribed period unless the court determines that a stay will result in manifest injustice.
Sets forth requirements for the selection of a neutral, third party allocator by PRPs or the President. Describes the allocator's authorities. Authorizes the allocator, based on collected information, to amend the list of PRPs to add, delete, or change the status of such parties. Permits allocation parties to submit the names of additional PRPs to the allocator.
Sets forth procedures for the allocation of response costs to PRPs and Superfund by the allocator. Divides unattributable shares pro rata among the allocation parties and Superfund. Requires the allocator to issue an allocation report identifying the share of response costs attributable to each party, individually and by category, and to Superfund. Permits private allocations submitted by allocation parties to be adopted as the allocation report under certain conditions.
Sets forth: (1) confidentiality requirements with respect to documents submitted to the allocator; (2) conditions under which the Administrator and Attorney General may reject the allocator's report; and (3) requirements for accepting settlements based on allocations.
Authorizes the United States to commence an action against any allocation party that has not resolved its liability to the United States following an allocation.
(Sec. 311) Sets forth conditions under which parties responsible for carrying out response actions pursuant to consent decrees entered, or administrative orders issued, before October 23, 1997, shall be entitled to mixed funding.
Title IV: Brownfields Revitalization - Directs the President to establish a program to provide grants to eligible States or political subdivisions, including Indian tribes, for: (1) inventory and assessment of brownfield facilities; and (2) capitalization of revolving loan funds for remedial actions at such facilities. Defines a "brownfield facility" as real property with respect to which expansion or redevelopment is complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance.
Makes Superfund monies available for such grants.
(Sec. 402) Authorizes the Administrator to provide technical and other assistance to States to establish and expand State voluntary cleanup programs. Makes limited amounts available from Superfund for FY 1998 through 2002 for such assistance.
(Sec. 403) Bars the President or any person (other than a State), with respect to a facility that is not listed or proposed for listing on the NPL at which there is a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance, from taking an administrative or judicial enforcement action or bringing a civil action if a voluntary response action is being conducted under an approved State plan or the action has been certified as complete by a State. Makes exceptions to this prohibition if the State requests the President to take action or in certain cases of emergency, risk, or migration of contamination across State lines.
Title V: State Role - Authorizes the Administrator to delegate authority to States to take specified actions at NPL facilities, including actions relating to response, liability, settlements, allocations, Federal facilities, remedy selections, and community participation.
Sets forth administrative provisions and restrictions on such authority.
Authorizes States to request delisting of NPL facilities for which responsibility has been transferred. Permits the Administrator to withdraw State authority under certain conditions. Sets forth conditions under which the President may take actions in States to which authorities have been delegated.
(Sec. 502) Allows the Administrator to authorize States to implement a State hazardous substance response program in lieu of the response action authorities of this Act at any NPL facility.
Sets forth administrative provisions and restrictions on such authority.
Permits States to delist a facility from the NPL if no further action to address the contamination is necessary to protect health and the environment or cleanup is proceeding under the Solid Waste Disposal Act. Authorizes the Administrator to withdraw State authority under certain conditions. Sets forth conditions under which the President may take actions in States implementing State response programs.
(Sec. 503) Requires the Administrator to provide grants to, or enter into contracts with, States to which authorities have been delegated.
Revises provisions requiring contracts with States before remedial actions are provided to prohibit the Administrator or a State to which authorities have been delegated from providing any remedial action unless the State enters into an agreement providing assurances that it will pay ten percent of the costs of the action and the costs of operation and maintenance.
(Sec. 506) Permits the President to add a facility to the NPL only with the concurrence of the Governor of the State in which the facility is located. Authorizes the President to add a facility without a Governor's concurrence 12 months following the request for concurrence if the Governor has not taken a response action to address the release or threatened release at the facility and the facility presents sufficient risks under the Hazard Ranking System to be listed as a national priority.
Provides for deferrals to listing if long-term remedial action will be conducted under other Federal authorities or if remedial action that will provide long-term health and environmental protection is underway under a State response program.
(Sec. 507) Extends certain provisions authorizing reimbursements by the President to local governments affected by releases or threatened releases to affected States as well.
(Sec. 508) Sets forth provisions regarding enforcement and dispute resolution regarding remedy selection at Federal facilities for which authorities have been delegated to a State.
Title VI: Natural Resources Damages - Revises provisions regarding liability for natural resources damages to include the governments of foreign countries whose natural resources are damaged in the list of parties to which a charged party may be liable.
(Sec. 604) Sets forth provisions regarding the designation of trustees for natural resources by Indian tribes and foreign governments.
(Sec. 606) Limits the measure of damages to a natural resource to: (1) reasonable costs of restoration; (2) the loss of use by the public of the resource prior to restoration, except that any loss before December 11, 1980 (CERCLA's enactment date), shall not be recoverable; and (3) costs of reasonable assessment of damages to the resource. Bars recovery for psychological damages.
(Sec. 607) Sets forth requirements for damage assessments by Federal, State, Indian tribe, and foreign trustees.
(Sec. 608) Requires all assessments to be adjudicated in a de novo trial in a Federal district court. Provides for public participation in the damage assessment process. Limits admissibility of relevant evidence that is not made public.
(Sec. 610) Permits sums recovered by trustees to be available only for restoration, replacement, or acquisition of natural resources.
(Sec. 611) Precludes trustees who receive compensation for natural resources damages or claims pursuant to this Act from recovering compensation for the same natural resource pursuant to any other State or Federal law. Bars recovery under such other laws if recovery for such resources is made under this Act. Prohibits double liability for such resources in the same manner as double recovery is barred.
Bars recovery for natural resources damages where such damages and the release of a hazardous substance from which such damages resulted occurred wholly before December 11, 1980.
(Sec. 613) Requires a foreign claimant, in order to recover such damages, to demonstrate that: (1) he or she has not been otherwise compensated for such damages; and (2) recovery is authorized by an agreement between the United States and the claimant's country or the Secretary of State has certified that such country provides a comparable remedy for U.S. claimants.
Permits foreign claims for damages resulting from a release or threatened release in or on the territorial sea, internal waters, or adjacent shoreline of a foreign country only if the release is from: (1) an Outer Continental Shelf facility or a deepwater port; (2) a vessel in the navigable waters; or (3) a vessel carrying a hazardous substance as cargo between two places in the United States.
(Sec. 614) Makes this title inapplicable to actions to recover natural resources damages in which a trial has begun before July 1, 1997, or in which a final settlement, decree, or order has been issued before such date.
Title VII: Oil Pollution - Amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to make amendments conforming to those made to CERCLA in Title VI of this Act with respect to natural resources damages, recovery, and liability.
Title VIII: Miscellaneous - Expands CERCLA provisions regarding treatment of Indian tribes to afford Indian tribes the same treatment as States with respect to provisions regarding public participation and remedy selection. Deems references to State facilities under CERCLA to mean facilities on Federal Indian reservations as well.
Requires the President to conduct a study of, and report to the Congress on, the health impacts on Indian tribes of pollutants, contaminants, and hazardous substances released from facilities listed on or proposed for listing on the NPL.
(Sec. 803) Amends the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 to require certain grants for the training and education of workers engaged in hazardous waste removal or containment or emergency response activities to be made from Superfund. Allocates at least 20 percent of funds for such purposes to the training of minority and other community-based workers who are involved in such activities.
Title IX: Funding - Subtitle A: Expenditures From the Hazardous Substance Superfund - Revises the list of activities for which expenditures from Superfund are authorized. Permits the President to use Superfund monies for administrative costs directly related to the costs of authorized activities.
Bars the use of Superfund for response actions that are not removal actions with respect to non-NPL facilities.
Repeals provisions regarding the assumption of certain liability by the Post-closure Liability Fund.
(Sec. 902) Authorizes appropriations to Superfund for FY 1998 through 2002.
Subtitle B: 5-Year Extension of Hazardous Substance Superfund - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend the environmental tax to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1997, and before January 1, 2003.
Extends specified provisions regarding: (1) Superfund's financing rate; (2) limits on tax if the unobligated balance in Superfund exceeds a specified amount; and (3) the repayment deadline for advances made to Superfund.