Financial Responsibility Requirements Under CERCLA § 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing requirements under section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for demonstrating financial responsibility. This proposed rule would create a new Part in the CERCLA regulations to require financial responsibility under CERCLA Sec. 108(b), define requirements for demonstration of financial responsibility, define requirements for maintenance of financial responsibility instruments, and establish criteria for owners and operators to be released from financial responsibility requirements. In addition, this proposal would establish specific financial responsibility requirements applicable to certain classes of mines and associated mineral processing facilities within the hardrock mining industry. EPA expects this proposed rule will, when made final, increase the likelihood that owners and operators will provide funds necessary to address the CERCLA liabilities at their facilities, thus preventing owners or operators from shifting the burden of cleanup to other parties, including the taxpayer. In addition, EPA expects that by adjusting the amount of financial responsibility to account for environmentally safer practices, it would provide an incentive for implementation of sound practices at hardrock mining facilities and thereby decrease the need for future CERCLA actions.