Brownfields Policies and Guidance

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Transmittal of New and Updated Model Comfort/Status Letters - (9/30/21)
Memorandum transmits three new and two updated model comfort status letters to assist Regions when responding to interested parties who may want to acquire impacted properties.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/comfortstatus-letters-guidance (PDF) (1530K)
Superfund Liability Protection for Local Government Acquisitions after the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2018 - (6/15/20)
Guidance provides an overview of CERCLA's liability framework and protections and the EPA's enforcement discretion policies that may apply to local governments.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-superfund-liability-protections-local-government-acquisitions (PDF) (448K)
The Revitalization Handbook: Addressing Liability Concerns at Contaminated Properties (2020 Edition) - (6/1/20)
2020 edition of The Revitalization Handbook summarizes the federal statutory provisions and EPA policy and guidance documents that address the potential liability concerns of parties involved in the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated sites.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/revitalization-handbook (PDF) (4,000K)
Transmittal of the 2019 Policy on the Issuance of Superfund Comfort/Status Letters - (8/21/19)
Memorandum transmitting Superfund comfort/status letter policy for parties interested in reusing and/or redeveloping contaminated, potentially contaminated, and formerly contaminated property (“impacted properties”).
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/comfortstatus-letters-guidance (PDF) (647K)
Enforcement Discretion Guidance Regarding Statutory Criteria for Those Who Qualify as a CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers, Contiguous Property Owners, or Innocent Landowners - (7/29/19)
2019 Common Elements Guidance for EPA staff on the "common elements" of the CERCLA landowner liability protections for BFPPs, CPOs, ILOs, and to assist them in exercising their enforcement discretion, which may provide general information to landowners or other third-party stakeholders who may wish to be involved with impacted properties.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/common-elements-guidance (PDF) (548K)
Agreement with Third-Parties to Support the Cleanup and Reuse at Sites on the Superfund National Priorities List - (4/17/18)
Memorandum encourages Regions to consider more frequent use of site-specific agreements with third parties at sites on the Superfund National Priorities List.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/third-party-agreements-support-cleanup-and-reuse-superfund-npl-sites (PDF) (1201K)
Transmittal of “Revised Enforcement Guidance Regarding the Treatment of Tenants Under the CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Provision” and Model Comfort/Status Letters for Lessees at Renewable Energy Projects - (12/5/12)
Transmittal memorandum, guidance and three model documents addressing the potentiall applicability of the BFPP provision under Superfund to tenants.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-treatment-tenants-under-cerclas-bona-fide-prospective-purchaser-bfpp-provision (PDF) (687K)
Revised Enforcement Guidance Regarding the Treatment of Tenants Under the CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Provision - (12/5/12)
Revised guidance addresses how EPA intends to use its enforcement discretion to treat certain tenants as BFPPs under Superfund.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-treatment-tenants-under-cerclas-bona-fide-prospective-purchaser-bfpp-provision (PDF) (543K)
Model Federal Superfund Interest and No Current Federal Superfund Interest Comfort/Status Letter - (12/5/12)
Model document for comfort/status letter regarding federal interest or no current federal interest regarding renewable energy development.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-treatment-tenants-under-cerclas-bona-fide-prospective-purchaser-bfpp-provision (PDF) (65 K)
Model State Action Comfort/Status Letter - RE-Powering America's Land Initiative - (12/5/12)
Model document comfort/status letter regarding state-lead sites and renewable energy development.
https://cfpub.epa.gov/compliance/models/view.cfm?model_ID=735 (PDF) (39 K)
Institutional Controls: A Guide to Planning, Implementing, Maintaining, and Enforcing Institutional Controls at Contaminated Sites - (12/4/12)
Guidance for site managers, attorneys and other interested parties for planning, implementing, maintaining and enforcing (PIME) institutional controls for Superfund, brownfields, UST, RCRA, and federal facility cleanups.
http://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/HQ/175446 (PDF) (451K)
Institutional Controls: A Guide to Preparing Institutional Control Implementation and Assurance Plans at Contaminated Sites - (12/4/12)
Guidance to the EPA Regions for developing Institutional Control Implementation and Assurance Plans (ICIAPs) at contaminated sites where the response action includes an institutional controls (ICs) component. An ICIAP is a document designed to systematically: (a) establish and document the activities associated with implementing and ensuring the long-term stewardship of ICs: and (b) specify the persons and/or organizations that will be responsible for conducting these activities.
http://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/HQ/175449 (PDF) (159K)
Enforcement Discretion Guidance Regarding the Affiliation Language of CERCLA's Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser and Contiguous Property Owner Liability Protections - (9/21/11)
Memorandum assists EPA personnel in, on site-specific basis, exercising the Agency's enforcement discretion regarding the affiliation language contained in the Superfund statute.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-affiliation-language-cerclas-bfpp-and-cpo-liability-protections (PDF) (180 K)
Model CERCLA Section 107(q)(3) Contiguous Property Owner Assurance Letter - (11/9/09)
Model contiguous property owner assurance letter to be used in accordance with January 2004 interim guidance regarding contiguous property owners. Includes transmittal memorandum.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/model-contiguous-property-owner-assurance-letter (PDF) (20 K)
Windfall Lien Administrative Procedures - (1/8/08)
Transmittal memorandum and attachments addressing implementation of section 107(r) of Superfund, the windfall lien provision on property acquired by a bona fide prospective purchaser.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-windfall-lien-administrative-procedures-107r-lien-and-model-letter-providing (PDF) (921 K)
Model Notice of Intent to File a Windfall Lien Letter - (1/8/08)
Model notice of intent to file a windfall lien letter (attachment to Windfall lien administrative procedures memorandum).
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/model-notice-intent-file-windfall-lien-letter (PDF) (89 K)
Brownfield Sites and Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) - (11/30/06)
Fact sheet providing questions and answers on the complementary role of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) at brownfield sites. This document supersedes the 1998 document on Brownfields and SEPs.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/fact-sheet-brownfield-sites-and-supplemental-environmental-projects (PDF) (78 K)
Issuance of CERCLA Model Agreement and Order on Consent for Removal Action by a Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser - (11/27/06)
Transmittal memorandum and CERCLA model agreement and order on consent for removal action by a bona fide prospective purchaser (BFPP).
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-model-bfpp-agreement-removal-action (PDF) (242 K)
CERCLA Model Agreement and Order on Consent for Removal Action by Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser - (11/27/06)
CERCLA Model Agreement and Order on Consent for Removal Action by a Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP).
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-model-bfpp-agreement-removal-action (PDF) (201 K)
Institutional Controls: A Citizen's Guide to Understanding Institutional Controls at Superfund, Brownfields, Federal Facilities, Underground Storage Tanks, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Cleanups - (2/1/05)
Fact Sheet provides community members with general information about the role of institutional controls (ICs) in Superfund, Brownfields, Federal Facilities, Underground Storage Tanks (UST) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) cleanups occurring in their neighborhoods.
http://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/HQ/175444 (PDF) (98 K)
Interim Guidance on the Ability to Pay and De Minimis Revisions to CERCLA Section 122g by the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act - (5/17/04)
Guidance document and four model notice documents on ability to pay and de minimis revisions to CERCLA 122(g) under the 2002 Brownfields Amendments
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-ability-pay-and-de-minimis-revisions-cercla-section-122g (PDF) (150 K)
Guidance for Preparing Superfund Ready for Reuse Determinations - (2/12/04)
Transmittal memorandum and guidance for preparing Superfund ready for reuse determinations. OSWER Dir. 93654.0-33
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-preparing-superfund-ready-reuse-determinations (PDF) (165K)
Fact Sheet: Superfund Ready for Reuse Determination Guidance - (2/12/04)
Fact sheet to accompany Superfund ready for reuse determination guidance, OSWER Dir. 9365.0-33-FS.
http://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/HQ/175568 (PDF) (218K)
Contiguous Property Owner Guidance Reference Sheet - (2/5/04)
Reference sheet to accompany contiguous property owner's interm guidance addressing liability limitations.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/interim-guidance-enforcement-discretion-regarding-contiguous-property-owners (PDF) (55K)
Interim Enforcement Discretion Guidance Regarding Contiguous Property Owners - (1/13/04)
Memo addresses interim guidance regarding liability limitation for landowners who qualify as contiguous property owners as provided for in the 2002 Brownfields Amendments to CERCLA.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/interim-guidance-enforcement-discretion-regarding-contiguous-property-owners (PDF) (88K)
Interim Guidance on the Municipal Solid Waste Exemption Under CERCLA Section 107(p) - (8/20/03)
This interim guidance discusses CERCLA section 107(p) and identifies some factors EPA and DOJ will consider in exercising enforcement discretion with MSW generators at NPL sites. Supplements the 12/6/1989 and 2/5/1998 municipal settlement policy documents.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/interim-guidance-municipal-solid-waste-exemption-under-superfund (PDF) (1,334K)
Interim Enforcement Discretion Policy Concerning Windfall Liens Under Section 107(r) of CERCLA - (7/16/03)
This memorandum discusses EPA and DOJ interim policy implementation of the new CERCLA 107(r) windfall lien provision contained in the 2002 Brownfields Amendments.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/interim-guidance-enforcement-discretion-concerning-windfall-liens-cercla-section-107r (PDF) (386 K)
Windfall Lien Guidance: Frequently Asked Questions - (7/16/03)
FAQs sheet containing questions and answers to the interim windfall liens guidance
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/interim-guidance-enforcement-discretion-concerning-windfall-liens-cercla-section-107r (PDF) (157K)
Prospective Purchaser Agreements and Other Tools to Facilitate Cleanup and Reuse of RCRA Sites - (4/8/03)
Memorandum highlights three tools useful to EPA and RCRA-authorized states for overcoming real or preceived barriers to cleanup and reuse at RCRA sites.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-prospective-purchaser-agreements-and-other-enforcement-tools-use-rcra-sites (PDF) (3.71K)
Regional Determinations Regarding Which Sites Are Not 'Eligible Response Sites' under CERCLA Section 101(41)(C)(i), as added by SBLRBRA - (3/6/03)
This memo provides guidance to the Regions on implementing authorities to determine whether a site should be excluded from being an "eligible response site" under Section 101(41)(C)(i), OSWER Dir. 9230.1-107, dated Mar. 6, 2003
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-regional-determinations-regarding-eligible-response-sites (PDF) (384 K)
Revised Settlement Policy and Contribution Waiver Language Regarding Exempt De Micromis and Non-Exempt De Micromis Parties - (11/6/02)
Memo transmits revised policy & model contribution waiver language re new Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Includes 5 attachments of model language.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-settlement-policy-contribution-waiver-language-regarding-de-micromis-parties (PDF) (480 KB)
Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers and the New Amendments to CERCLA - (5/31/02)
Describes when, primarily because of significant public health, EPA will consider providing a prospective purchaser with a covenant not to sue under the 2002 amendments to the Superfund statute.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-bfpps-and-new-amendments-cercla (PDF) (129 K)
Headquarters Prior Written Approval Required for Prospective Purchaser Agreements under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act - (5/9/02)
Memo to Regional Offices requests cooperation with HQ when contemplating negotiations for prospective purchaser agreements under RCRA.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-pwa-rcra-ppas (PDF) (3,683 K)
Comfort/Status Letters for RCRA Brownfield Properties - (2/15/01)
Memorandum addressing the use of comfort/status letters at RCRA properties, where appropriate, and includes four (4) sample letters.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-comfortstatus-letters-rcra-brownfields-properties (PDF) (1.15K)
Support of Regional Efforts to Negotiate Prospective Purchaser Agreements (PPAs) at Superfund Sites and Clarifications of PPA Guidance - (1/10/01)
Memorandum addresses settlements at Superfund sites that can be returned to productive reuse.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/negotiating-ppas-superfund-sites-and-clarification-ppa-guidance (PDF) (33KB)
Expediting Requests for Prospective Purchaser Agreements - (10/1/99)
Cover letter transmits the model PPA agreement language and the request letter.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-expediting-ppa-requests (PDF) (10KB)
Checklist of Documents for PPA Evaluation - (10/1/99)
Checklist of Information that EPA Will Generally Require in Evaluating a PPA Request - Attachment to Expediting Requests for Prospective Purchaser Agreements, dated 10/01/1999
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-expediting-ppa-requests (PDF) (6 K)
Model Letter Acknowledging a PPA Request - (10/1/99)
Model letter acknowledging a PPA request, attachment to 10/1/99 memo on expediting PPAs, dated 9/30/99
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-expediting-ppa-requests (PDF) (5KB)
Policy on Interpreting CERCLA Provisions Addressing Lenders and Involuntary Acquisitions by Government Entities - (6/30/97)
The memorandum transmits EPA's policy for interpreting CERCLA provisions that address (1) lenders and (2) government entities that acquire property involuntarily.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-lenders-and-involuntary-acquisitions-government-entities (PDF) (17 K)
Fact Sheet: The Effect of Superfund on Involuntary Acquisitions of Contaminated Property by Government Entities - (12/31/95)
Summarizes EPA's policy on Superfund enforcement against gov't entities that involuntarily acquire contaminated property. Also describes some types of gov't. actions that EPA believes qualify for a liability exemption or a defense to Superfund liability
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/fact-sheet-effect-superfund-involuntary-acquisitions-contaminated-property-government (PDF) (206 K)
Fact Sheet: Policy Toward Owners of Property Containing Contaminated Aquifers - (11/3/95)
Fact sheet summarizes EPA policy regarding toward owners of property containing contaminated aquifers.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-owners-property-containing-contaminated-aquifers (PDF) (234 K)
Municipal Immunity from CERCLA Liability for Property Acquired through Involuntary State Action - (10/20/95)
Memorandum sets forth EPA and DOJ policy regarding the government's enforcement of CERCLA against lenders and against government entities that acquire property involuntarily.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-municipal-immunity-cercla-liability-property-acquired-through-involuntary-state (PDF) (279 KB)
Guidance on Agreements with Prospective Purchasers of Contaminated Property - (5/24/95)
This memorandum transmits the guidance and model agreement concerning prospective purchasers of contaminated Superfund property.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-model-agreements-prospective-purchasers-contaminated-property (PDF) (1213KB)
Final Policy Toward Owners of Property Containing Contaminated Aquifers - (5/24/95)
Policy states the Agency position "subject to certain conditions, where hazardous substances have come to be located on or in a property solely as the result of subsurface migration in an aquifer, dated 05/24/95
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-owners-property-containing-contaminated-aquifers (PDF) (1,060 KB)
Policy Towards Owners of Residential Property at Superfund Sites - (7/3/91)
Policy addresses concerns raised by owners of residential property located on Superfund sites, and provide the Regions with a nationally consistent approach on this issue. OSWER Dir. No. 9834.6.
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/guidance-owners-residential-property-superfund-sites (PDF) (466 KB)

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