Negotiating Better Superfund Settlements: Recommendations for the Future.

TitleNegotiating Better Superfund Settlements: Recommendations for the Future.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsSusskind, L, Marks, J
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review

Amendments in 1986 to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), reflect lessons learned and problems encountered in the first 5 years of Superfund operations, including changes in the way settlements and negotiations operate. Elements of the 1986 amendments favoring settlement including provisions for sharing information about a site with potentially responsible parties (PRPs), developing allocation guidelines, responding to PRP settlement offers, and preferring releases in the form of covenants not to sue. However, other changes may make the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) negotiating task more difficult by allowing the agency less discretion both at the EPA headquarters and at regional levels. As written, the amendments provide the EPA with more detailed guidance and requirements not only with respect to the standards to be met by cleanup but with respect to the methods to achieve those standards as well. In addition, more players, including the states and members of the public, have a role in cleanup decisions under the amendments.