"Innocent Landowners" and "Prospective Purchasers" in the Superfund Act

Description:

The Superfund Act contains several devices that eliminate the liability or reduce the transaction costs normally incurred under the Act by persons that acquire contaminated land. This report focuses on three of them, two addressed in the recently enacted brownfields law (P.L. 107-118). The first device is the innocent-landowner defense, available to persons who acquire land after the hazardous substance is put there, and who (among other things) find no contamination before acquisition despite “all appropriate inquiry.” The second device allows use of innocent-landowner status as a basis for early de minimis settlement with EPA. The third exempts the “bona fide prospective purchaser” from “owner” and “operator” liability despite pre-acquisition awareness of contamination on the property, if certain conditions are met.

Creator(s):
Creation Date: March 6, 2002
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection(s):
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Publisher Info:
Place of Publication: Washington D.C., USA
Date(s):
  • Creation: March 6, 2002
Description:

The Superfund Act contains several devices that eliminate the liability or reduce the transaction costs normally incurred under the Act by persons that acquire contaminated land. This report focuses on three of them, two addressed in the recently enacted brownfields law (P.L. 107-118). The first device is the innocent-landowner defense, available to persons who acquire land after the hazardous substance is put there, and who (among other things) find no contamination before acquisition despite “all appropriate inquiry.” The second device allows use of innocent-landowner status as a basis for early de minimis settlement with EPA. The third exempts the “bona fide prospective purchaser” from “owner” and “operator” liability despite pre-acquisition awareness of contamination on the property, if certain conditions are met.

Physical Description:

6 pages.

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Partner:
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection:
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Resource Type: Report
Format: Text
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Access: Public