Summary: S.20 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.20. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (01/19/1999)


Title I: Brownfield Remediation and Environmental Cleanup

Title II: Prospective Purchasers

Title III: Innocent Landowners

Title IV: Contiguous Properties

Brownfields and Environmental Cleanup Act of 1999 - Title I: Brownfield Remediation and Environmental Cleanup - Directs the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to provide grants to States or local governments to inventory and conduct site assessments of brownfield sites. Defines a "brownfield site" 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. 103) Directs the Administrator to establish a program to provide grants to State and local governments for capitalization of loan programs for brownfield site cleanup by either the State or locality or by an owner or prospective purchaser.

(Sec. 104) Amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to authorize the Administrator to award grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts or provide technical assistance to States, Indian tribes, political subdivisions, and other entities for training, technology transfer, and information dissemination programs to strengthen environmental response activities.

(Sec. 105) Requires the Administrator to carry out a program to provide financial assistance for brownfield training programs.

(Sec. 106) Makes amounts in the Hazardous Substance Superfund available to carry out the grant and assistance programs of this Act.

(Sec. 107) Requires reports to specified congressional committees regarding the programs established under this title.

(Sec. 108) Imposes funding limitations, including a restriction on use of funds to meet Federal cost-sharing requirements and a prohibition on the use of grants to pay fines or penalties.

(Sec. 111) Authorizes appropriations to carry out the programs established under this title.

Title II: Prospective Purchasers - Amends 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 this Act and the facility's fair market value has increased above that which existed 180 days before the action was taken.

Title III: Innocent Landowners - Amends CERCLA, with respect to defenses to liability of an owner of after-acquired property, to deem a person to have made (under current law, "undertaken") 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 (compliance with an American Society for Testing and Materials standard or with standards issued by the President) and the person fulfills certain responsibilities concerning information compilation, exercise of appropriate care with respect to hazardous substances at the facility, cooperation with those conducting response actions, and compliance with land use or activity restrictions. Deems the appropriate inquiry requirements to be satisfied by a site inspection and title search that reveal no basis for further investigation in the case of property for residential or similar use purchased by a nongovernmental or noncommercial entity.

Title IV: Contiguous Properties - Exempts from liability under CERCLA certain owners or operators of real property contiguous to property on which there has been a release or threatened release. Authorizes the President to issue an assurance that no enforcement action will be initiated against such individuals.