The Financial Implications of Releasing Small Firms and Small-Volume Contributors from Superfund Liability

by Lloyd Dixon


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Recent Congressional proposals to reform the federal Superfund program release potentially responsible parties (PRPs) that are small in size or only played a minor role at the site from liability for cleanup costs and transfer their cleanup costs of parties released to the Superfund Trust Fund. This report estimates the number of PRPs that would be released and the cleanup costs that would be transferred to the Fund by recent proposals. It also estimates the cost transferred to the Fund per firm released and the financial consequences for those PRPs that remain liable.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1

    Proposals to Reform Superfund's Liability Provisions

  • Chapter 2

    Data and Methods

  • Chapter 3

    Type and Size of PRPs at NPL Sites

  • Chapter 4

    Distribution of Cleanup Costs by PRP Type and Size

  • Chapter 5

    Releasing Small-Volume Contributors from Superfund Liability

  • Chapter 6

    Effects of Liability Reforms on the PRPs That Remain Liable

  • Chapter 7

    Summary and Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    RPM Site Survey

  • Appendix B

    Sampling Design and Integration of RPM and Sets Data

  • Appendix C

    Statistical Methods

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Institute for Civil Justice program.

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