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107th Congress                                             Rept. 107-70
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 2

======================================================================



 
                SMALL BUSINESS LIABILITY PROTECTION ACT

                                _______
                                

  May 21, 2001.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1831]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1831) to provide certain relief for 
small businesses from liability under the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 
1980, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          Summary and Purpose

    H.R. 1831, the ``Small Business Liability Protection Act'' 
amends the Superfund statute to provide an exemption from 
Superfund liability for ``de micromis'' parties and households, 
small businesses, and small nonprofit organizations that sent 
only ``municipal solid waste'' to a Superfund site.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation and Liability Act (commonly referred to as 
Superfund), persons can be held liable for the costs of 
cleaning up a Superfund site if they sent any material 
containing hazardous substances to that site. As a result, 
under Superfund, a person can be held liable for cleanup costs 
even if they sent only a miniscule amount of waste to the site 
or if the hazardous substances they sent to the site were 
contained in ordinary household garbage.
    Too often, small volume contributors of wastes at a 
Superfund site, and households, small businesses, and small 
nonprofit organizations that sent ordinary trash to a Superfund 
site have been sued to contribute to Superfund cleanups. Absent 
legislation, the only way to protect these entities from 
lawsuits is for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to 
first sue, and then reach a settlement, with each party on a 
case-by-case basis. Under its Superfund program administrative 
reforms, EPA has tried to get smaller parties out of Superfund 
litigation through de minimis settlements. However, this 
approach can consume a great deal of agency resources and can 
cause these small parties to incur attorneys' fees. In 
addition, many small parties do not understand that the legal 
process to obtain protection from further lawsuits, a de 
minimis settlement, requires that a lawsuit be filed that names 
them as a party. In testimony before the Water Resources and 
Environment Subcommittee in the 106th Congress, a 
representative of the National Federation of Independent 
Business described this process, as utilized at the Quincy 
Landfill Superfund Site, as an ``ongoing nightmare for small 
businesses, their families, friends, and neighbors in Quincy, 
Illinois.''
    This legislation addresses this matter by providing 
statutory exemptions from liability for certain parties, and by 
adjusting the burden of proof in actions against these parties, 
as described below in the section-by-section analysis of the 
bill.

      Discussion of Committee Bill and Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 of the bill specifies that the short title is the 
``Small Business Liability Protection Act.''

Section 2. Small business liability relief

    Section 2 of the bill makes amendments to section 107 and 
section 122 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act.
    (a) Exemptions.--Subsection (a) of the bill amends section 
107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, 
and Liability Act by adding a new subsection (o) ``De Micromis 
Exemption,'' and a new subsection (p) ``Municipal Solid Waste 
Exemption.''
    New subsection (o) exempts persons from Superfund liability 
for generating or transporting only a ``de micromis'' volume of 
waste disposed of at a facility on the National Priorities List 
(a Superfund site).
    Paragraph (1) of new subsection (o) specifies that a person 
is not liable for response costs for generating or transporting 
wastes that are disposed of at a Superfund site under section 
107(a)(3) or section 107(a)(4) if a person can demonstrate that 
the person sent only 110 gallons (the equivalent of two drums 
of liquid waste) or 200 pounds of material containing hazardous 
substances to the facility. This exemption only applies to 
activities that occurred before April 1, 2001.
    Paragraph (2)(A)(i) specifies that the exemption in 
paragraph (1) does not apply if the President determines that a 
party's wastes have contributed or could contribute 
significantly, either individually or in the aggregate, to 
response costs or natural resource damages with respect to the 
facility. The Committee intends that the phrase ``in the 
aggregate'' refer to all of the material containing hazardous 
substances that is generated and sent to the facility by the 
party that is otherwise eligible for the ``de micromis'' 
exemption. The Committee does not intend that the phrase ``in 
the aggregate'' be interpreted to encompass all of the material 
containing hazardous substances disposed of at the facility by 
different parties.
    Paragraph (2)(A)(ii) specifies that the exemption in 
paragraph (1) does not apply if the President determines that a 
party has failed to comply with an information request or 
subpoena issued by the President under the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The 
Committee intends that this determination lie solely within the 
discretion of the President and that the President will 
exercise this discretion as appropriate to the facts and 
circumstances presented in each case.
    Paragraph (2)(A)(iii) also specifies that the exemption in 
paragraph (1) does not apply if the President determines that a 
party has impeded or is impeding the response action or natural 
resource restoration with respect to the facility.
    Finally, paragraph (2)(B) specifies that the exemption in 
paragraph (1) does not apply if a party's waste disposal 
activities are the basis for a criminal conviction that has not 
been vitiated on appeal or otherwise.
    Paragraph (3) of new subsection (o) provides that any 
determinations made by the President under paragraph (2)(A) are 
not subject to judicial review.
    Paragraph (4) of new subsection (o) specifies where the 
burden of proof lies in third-party contribution actions. Under 
paragraph (1), the burden of demonstrating that a party is 
eligible for an exemption generally falls on the party seeking 
the exemption, where the plaintiff is a Federal, State, or 
local government. Under paragraph (4) the burden shall be on 
all other plaintiffs in contribution actions to demonstrate 
that a party is not eligible for the exemption.
    New subsection (p) exempts certain persons from Superfund 
liability for generating ``municipal solid waste'' disposed of 
at a Superfund site.
    Paragraph (1) of new subsection (p) specifies that a person 
is not liable for response costs under section 107(a)(3) for 
generating municipal solid waste disposed of at a Superfund 
site if the person can demonstrate that the person is a 
household (and the waste came from the household), a business 
with not more than 100 employees (and the waste came from the 
small business), or a nonprofit organization with not more than 
100 employees (at the location that generated the waste).
    Paragraph (2)(A) of new subsection (p) specifies that the 
exemption in paragraph (1) does not apply if the President 
determines that a party's municipal solid waste has contributed 
or could contribute significantly, either individually or in 
the aggregate, to response costs or natural resource damages 
with respect to the facility. The Committee intends that the 
phrase ``in the aggregate'' refer to all of the municipal solid 
waste that is generated and sent to the facility by the party 
that is otherwise eligible for the ``municipal solid waste'' 
exemption. The Committee does not intend that the phrase ``in 
the aggregate'' be interpreted to encompass all of the 
municipal solid waste contained in a landfill disposed of by 
different parties.
    Paragraph (2)(B) specifies that the exemption in paragraph 
(1) does not apply if the President determines that a party has 
failed to comply with an information request or subpoena issued 
by the President under the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The Committee 
intends that this determination lie solely within the 
discretion of the President and that the President will 
exercise this discretion as appropriate to the facts and 
circumstances presented in each case.
    Paragraph (2)(C) specifies that the exemption in paragraph 
(1) does not apply if the President determines that a party has 
impeded or is impeding the response action or natural resource 
restoration with respect to the facility.
    Paragraph (3) of new subsection (p) provides that any 
determinations made by the President under paragraph (2) are 
not subject to judicial review.
    Paragraph (4) of new subsection (p) defines ``municipal 
solid waste'' as waste material that is generated by a 
household or waste that is generated by a commercial, 
industrial, or institutional entity that is essentially the 
same as household waste, is collected and disposed as part of 
normal municipal solid waste collection services, and contains 
a relative quantity of hazardous substances no greater than the 
relative quantity of hazardous substances contained in waste 
material generated by a typical single-family household. The 
relative quantity refers to the percentage of hazardous 
substances to total municipal solid waste. The Committee 
intends that the percentage of hazardous substances in the 
municipal solid waste for commercial, institutional and 
industrial entities that qualify for this exemption should be 
no greater than the percentage of hazardous substances in 
municipal solid waste that a typical single-family household 
generates and sends to a landfill.
    Paragraph (5) of new subsection (p) specifies where the 
burden of proof lies for certain actions. Under paragraph (1), 
the burden of demonstrating that a party is eligible for the 
exemption generally falls on the party seeking the exemption. 
However, paragraph (5) specifies when this general rule does 
not apply. First, it does not apply to actions for response 
costs brought under section 107 or actions for contribution to 
response costs under 113 relating to wastes disposed of on or 
after April 1, 2001, if a party (other than a Federal, State, 
or local government) brings the action. Second, it does not 
apply to any action for response costs under section 107 or 
action for contribution to response costs under section 113 
relating to wastes disposed of before April 1, 2001. In these 
actions, the plaintiff has the burden of demonstrating that a 
defendant is not eligible for the municipal solid waste 
exemption.
    Paragraph (6) of new subsection (p) prohibits contribution 
actions, other than actions brought by a Federal, State, or 
local government, against households for municipal solid waste 
disposal.
    Paragraph (7) of new subsection (p) specifies that 
nongovernmental plaintiffs must pay the attorneys' fees and 
expert witness fees if they bring a contribution action against 
a person who is not liable for contribution based on the 
``municipal solid waste'' exemption in new subsection (p) or 
the ``de micromis'' exemption in new subsection (o).
    (b) Expedited Settlement.--Subsection (b) of the bill 
amends section 122(g) of the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to add provisions 
concerning expedited settlements based on a limited ability to 
pay.

Section 3. Effect on concluded actions

    Section (3) of the bill provides that the amendments made 
by this Act shall not apply to or affect any preexisting 
settlement or administrative order.
    The Committee does not intend that the Small Business 
Liability Protection Act give rise to negative implications 
with respect to the Agency's existing settlement authorities 
for potentially responsible parties that are ineligible for the 
Act's exemptions. In particular, although the ``de micromis'' 
and ``municipal solid waste'' exemptions do not apply at sites 
that are not on the National Priorities List, the Committee 
does not intend to affect the authority to reach settlements 
with other potentially responsible parties under the Act.

                                Hearings

    The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee held 
hearings on proposals to provide Superfund liability relief for 
small businesses as part of broader Superfund reform proposals 
in the 104th, 105th and 106th Congresses. On October 29, 1997, 
the Subcommittee received testimony regarding third- and 
fourth-party contribution actions brought against small 
businesses at the Keystone Landfill Superfund site in 
Pennsylvania. On May 12, 1999, the Subcommittee received 
testimony regarding direct EPA actions against small businesses 
at the Quincy Landfill Superfund site in Illinois.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 16, 2001, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill reported to the House by unanimous voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each Committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with ordering H.R. 
1831 reported. A motion to order H.R. 1831 reported to the 
House, without amendment, was unanimously agreed to by voice 
vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee advises that H.R. 1831 contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no statement of general performance and 
objectives for which any measure authorizes funding is 
required.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
1831 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                      U.S. Congress
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 17, 2001.
Hon. Don Young,
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1831, the Small 
Business Liability Protection Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Susanne S. 
Mehlman (for federal costs), Victoria Heid Hall (for the state 
and local impact), and Lauren Marks (for the private-sector 
impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

H.R. 1831--Small Business Liability Protection Act

    Summary: H.R. 1831 would establish two new exemptions from 
liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, commonly 
known as the Superfund Act, which governs the cleanup of sites 
contaminated with hazardous substances. A ``de micromis'' 
liability exemption would apply to those who generate or 
transport very small volumes of waste; the second new exemption 
would apply to certain small businesses and organizations that 
dispose of municipal solid waste. A ``de minimus'' settlement 
under CERCLA refers to a settlement between the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) and parties who are responsible for 
only a comparatively small amount and comparatively low 
toxicity of hazardous substances at a Superfund site. ``De 
micromis'' settlements are a subset of de minimus settlements 
that may be available to parties who are responsible for a 
miniuscule amount of waste at a Superfund site.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1831 would result in no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Because enactment of 
this bill could affect offsetting receipts (a form of direct 
spending), pay-as-you-go procedures would apply, but CBS 
estimates that any such effects would not be significant.
    H.R. 1831 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Major provisions: Under the de micromis exemption that 
would be established under the bill, those who generate or 
transport less than 200 pounds of waste, or 110 gallons of 
material containing hazardous waste disposed of at a National 
Priorities List (NPL) site before April 1, 2001, would be 
released from Superfund liability. This exemption would not 
apply to those whose waste could significantly contribute to 
cleanup costs or natural resource damages, those who fail to 
comply with government requests or subpoenas for information, 
those who impede cleanup work at the site, or anyone who has 
been convicted of a criminal violation related to waste 
disposal activities at the site.
    Under the municipal solid waste exemption that would be 
established under the bill, households, and businesses or 
nonprofit organizations with not more than 100 employees would 
be released from Superfund liability for generating municipal 
solid waste (which includes household waste and other waste 
containing little or no hazardous substances) disposed of at a 
NPL site. This exemption would not apply to those whose waste 
could significantly contribute to cleanup costs or natural 
resource damages, those who fail to comply with government 
requests or subpoenas for information, or those who impede 
cleanup work at the site. Unlike the de micromis exemption, 
this exemption would apply regardless of when the waste was 
generated.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The Environmental 
Protection Agency's enforcement program attempts to recover any 
costs the agency incurs at Superfund cleanup projects that are 
the responsibility of private parties (known as potentially 
responsible parties, or PRPs). Under H.R. 1831, CBO estimates 
that such future cost recoveries could be reduced because the 
Superfund liability of some PRPs would be eliminated. PRPs who 
have generated or transported small volumes of waste or who 
have generated municipal solid waste, however, are rarely 
pursued to recover cleanup expenses under EPA's current 
enforcement practices. EPA does not consider the pursuit of 
these types of PRPs to be consistent with the intent of CERCLA, 
nor a cost-effective use of government enforcement resources.
    Based on information from EPA, CBO estimates that only a 
negligible amount of funds are recovered by EPA each year from 
generators of municipal solid waste who seek settlements with 
EPA under CERCLA. Under EPA's current policy, such PRPs seeking 
settlements with EPA can pay $5.30 per ton of municipal solid 
waste disposed of at the site to the agency and be relieved of 
any future liability. Enacting this bill would eliminate the 
need for some PRPs to seek such a settlement. However, because 
there are so few of these settlements and because EPA does not 
pursue the recovery of costs from PRPs who generate or 
transport very small amounts of waste disposed of at a site, 
CBO estimates that any reduction in the amount of funds 
recovered for the Treasury would be less than $500,000 each 
year. Furthermore, to the extent EPA could recover the exempted 
PRP's share of the costs from any other remaining PRPs at a 
particular site, there would be no reduction in costs 
recovered.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending or receipts. Enacting 
H.R. 1831 could affect direct spending, however, CBO estimates 
any additional costs would be negligible.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 1831 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would have no significant impact on the budgets of 
state, local, or tribal governments. The bill would amend 
current law concerning the liability under CERCLA of persons 
generating or transporting small amounts of waste. These 
changes in liability are not preemptions of state law. They 
could make it more difficult for any states that currently rely 
on CERCLA to recover costs and damages under their own cleanup 
programs from parties whose liability now would be eliminated 
by the bill. However, these changes could benefit state, local, 
and tribal governments if their liability would be eliminated. 
On balance, because EPA's current policy under CERCLA is not to 
pursue the small parties affected by this bill, such effects 
would not be significant.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: This bill contains 
no new private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Previous CBO estimate: On May 17, 2001, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 1831, the Small Business Liability 
Protection Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Energy and Commerce on May 17, 2001. The two versions of H.R. 
1831 are identical, as are the cost estimates.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Susanne S. Mehlman. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Victoria Heid 
Hall. Impact on the Private Sector: Lauren Marks.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4.)

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1.)

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

 COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION, AND LIABILITY ACT 
OF 1980

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



TITLE I--HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES RELEASES, LIABILITY, COMPENSATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                               liability

  Sec. 107. (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (o) De Micromis Exemption.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        a person shall not be liable, with respect to response 
        costs at a facility on the National Priorities List, 
        under this Act if liability is based solely on 
        paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection (a), and the person, 
        except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, 
        can demonstrate that--
                  (A) the total amount of the material 
                containing hazardous substances that the person 
                arranged for disposal or treatment of, arranged 
                with a transporter for transport for disposal 
                or treatment of, or accepted for transport for 
                disposal or treatment, at the facility was less 
                than 110 gallons of liquid materials or less 
                than 200 pounds of solid materials (or such 
                greater or lesser amounts as the Administrator 
                may determine by regulation); and
                  (B) all or part of the disposal, treatment, 
                or transport concerned occurred before April 1, 
                2001.
          (2) Exceptions.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply in a 
        case in which--
                  (A) the President determines that--
                          (i) the materials containing 
                        hazardous substances referred to in 
                        paragraph (1) have contributed 
                        significantly or could contribute 
                        significantly, either individually or 
                        in the aggregate, to the cost of the 
                        response action or natural resource 
                        restoration with respect to the 
                        facility; or
                          (ii) the person has failed to comply 
                        with an information request or 
                        administrative subpoena issued by the 
                        President under this Act or has impeded 
                        or is impeding, through action or 
                        inaction, the performance of a response 
                        action or natural resource restoration 
                        with respect to the facility; or
                  (B) a person has been convicted of a criminal 
                violation for the conduct to which the 
                exemption would apply, and that conviction has 
                not been vitiated on appeal or otherwise.
          (3) No judicial review.--A determination by the 
        President under paragraph (2)(A) shall not be subject 
        to judicial review.
          (4) Nongovernmental third-party contribution 
        actions.--In the case of a contribution action, with 
        respect to response costs at a facility on the National 
        Priorities List, brought by a party, other than a 
        Federal, State, or local government, under this Act, 
        the burden of proof shall be on the party bringing the 
        action to demonstrate that the conditions described in 
        paragraph (1)(A) and (B) of this subsection are not 
        met.
  (p) Municipal Solid Waste Exemption.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2) 
        of this subsection, a person shall not be liable, with 
        respect to response costs at a facility on the National 
        Priorities List, under paragraph (3) of subsection (a) 
        for municipal solid waste disposed of at a facility if 
        the person, except as provided in paragraph (5) of this 
        subsection, can demonstrate that the person is--
                  (A) an owner, operator, or lessee of 
                residential property from which all of the 
                person's municipal solid waste was generated 
                with respect to the facility;
                  (B) a business entity (including a parent, 
                subsidiary, or affiliate of the entity) that, 
                during its 3 taxable years preceding the date 
                of transmittal of written notification from the 
                President of its potential liability under this 
                section, employed on average not more than 100 
                full-time individuals, or the equivalent 
                thereof, and that is a small business concern 
                (within the meaning of the Small Business Act 
                (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.)) from which was 
                generated all of the municipal solid waste 
                attributable to the entity with respect to the 
                facility; or
                  (C) an organization described in section 
                501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
                and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of 
                such Code that, during its taxable year 
                preceding the date of transmittal of written 
                notification from the President of its 
                potential liability under this section, 
                employed not more than 100 paid individuals at 
                the location from which was generated all of 
                the municipal solid waste attributable to the 
                organization with respect to the facility.
        For purposes of this subsection, the term ``affiliate'' 
        has the meaning of that term provided in the definition 
        of ``small business concern'' in regulations 
        promulgated by the Small Business Administration in 
        accordance with the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 
        et seq.).
          (2) Exception.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply in a 
        case in which the President determines that--
                  (A) the municipal solid waste referred to in 
                paragraph (1) has contributed significantly or 
                could contribute significantly, either 
                individually or in the aggregate, to the costof 
the response action or natural resource restoration with respect to the 
facility;
                  (B) the person has failed to comply with an 
                information request or administrative subpoena 
                issued by the President under this Act; or
                  (C) the person has impeded or is impeding, 
                through action or inaction, the performance of 
                a response action or natural resource 
                restoration with respect to the facility.
          (3) No judicial review.--A determination by the 
        President under paragraph (2) shall not be subject to 
        judicial review.
          (4) Definition of municipal solid waste.--
                  (A) In general.--For purposes of this 
                subsection, the term ``municipal solid waste'' 
                means waste material--
                          (i) generated by a household 
                        (including a single or multifamily 
                        residence); and
                          (ii) generated by a commercial, 
                        industrial, or institutional entity, to 
                        the extent that the waste material--
                                  (I) is essentially the same 
                                as waste normally generated by 
                                a household;
                                  (II) is collected and 
                                disposed of with other 
                                municipal solid waste as part 
                                of normal municipal solid waste 
                                collection services; and
                                  (III) contains a relative 
                                quantity of hazardous 
                                substances no greater than the 
                                relative quantity of hazardous 
                                substances contained in waste 
                                material generated by a typical 
                                single-family household.
                  (B) Examples.--Examples of municipal solid 
                waste under subparagraph (A) include food and 
                yard waste, paper, clothing, appliances, 
                consumer product packaging, disposable diapers, 
                office supplies, cosmetics, glass and metal 
                food containers, elementary or secondary school 
                science laboratory waste, and household 
                hazardous waste.
                  (C) Exclusions.--The term ``municipal solid 
                waste'' does not include--
                          (i) combustion ash generated by 
                        resource recovery facilities or 
                        municipal incinerators; or
                          (ii) waste material from 
                        manufacturing or processing operations 
                        (including pollution control 
                        operations) that is not essentially the 
                        same as waste normally generated by 
                        households.
          (5) Burden of proof.--In the case of an action, with 
        respect to response costs at a facility on the National 
        Priorities List, brought under section 107 or 113 by--
                  (A) a party, other than a Federal, State, or 
                local government, with respect to municipal 
                solid waste disposed of on or after April 1, 
                2001; or
                  (B) any party with respect to municipal solid 
                waste disposed of before April 1, 2001, the 
                burden of proof shall be on the party bringing 
                the action to demonstrate that the conditions 
                described in paragraphs (1) and (4) for 
                exemption for entities and organizations 
                described in paragraph (1)(B) and (C) are not 
                met.
          (6) Certain actions not permitted.--No contribution 
        action may be brought by a party, other than a Federal, 
        State, or local government, under this Act with respect 
        to circumstances described in paragraph (1)(A).
          (7) Costs and fees.--A nongovernmental entity that 
        commences, after the date of the enactment of this 
        subsection, a contribution action under this Act shall 
        be liable to the defendant for all reasonable costs of 
        defending the action, including all reasonable 
        attorney's fees and expert witness fees, if the 
        defendant is not liable for contribution based on an 
        exemption under this subsection or subsection (o).

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SEC. 122. SETTLEMENTS.

  (a)  * * *

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  (g) De Minimis Settlements.--
          (1)  * * *

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          (7) Reduction in settlement amount based on limited 
        ability to pay.--
                  (A) In general.--The condition for settlement 
                under this paragraph is that the potentially 
                responsible party is a person who demonstrates 
                to the President an inability or a limited 
                ability to pay response costs.
                  (B) Considerations.--In determining whether 
                or not a demonstration is made under 
                subparagraph (A) by a person, the President 
                shall take into consideration the ability of 
                the person to pay response costs and still 
                maintain its basic business operations, 
                including consideration of the overall 
                financial condition of the person and 
                demonstrable constraints on the ability of the 
                person to raise revenues.
                  (C) Information.--A person requesting 
                settlement under this paragraph shall promptly 
                provide the President with all relevant 
                information needed to determine the ability of 
                the person to pay response costs.
                  (D) Alternative payment methods.--If the 
                President determines that a person is unable to 
                pay its total settlement amount at the time of 
                settlement, the President shall consider such 
                alternative payment methods as may be necessary 
                or appropriate.
          (8) Additional conditions for expedited 
        settlements.--
                  (A) Waiver of claims.--The President shall 
                require, as a condition for settlement under 
                this subsection, that a potentially responsible 
                party waive all of the claims (including a 
                claim for contribution under this Act) that the 
                party may have against other potentially 
                responsible parties for response costs incurred 
                with respect to the facility, unless the 
                President determines that requiring a waiver 
                would be unjust.
                  (B) Failure to comply.--The President may 
                decline to offer a settlement to a potentially 
                responsible party under this subsection if the 
                President determines that the potentially 
                responsible party has failed to comply with any 
                request for access or information or an 
                administrative subpoena issued by the President 
                under this Act or has impeded or is impeding, 
                through action or inaction, the performance of 
                a response action with respect to the facility.
                  (C) Responsibility to provide information and 
                access.--A potentially responsible party that 
                enters into a settlement under this subsection 
                shall not be relieved of the responsibility to 
                provide any information or access requested in 
                accordance with subsection (e)(3)(B) or section 
                104(e).
          (9) Basis of determination.--If the President 
        determines that a potentially responsible party is not 
        eligible for settlement under this subsection, the 
        President shall provide the reasons for the 
        determination in writing to the potentially responsible 
        party that requested a settlement under this 
        subsection.
          (10) Notification.--As soon as practicable after 
        receipt of sufficient information to make a 
        determination, the President shall notify any person 
        that the President determines is eligible under 
        paragraph (1) of the person's eligibility for an 
        expedited settlement.
          (11) No judicial review.--A determination by the 
        President under paragraph (7), (8), (9), or (10) shall 
        not be subject to judicial review.
          (12) Notice of settlement.--After a settlement under 
        this subsection becomes final with respect to a 
        facility, the President shall promptly notify 
        potentially responsible parties at the facility that 
        have not resolved their liability to the United States 
        of the settlement.

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