The U.S. EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, has set accelerated cleanup at Superfund sites as an Agency goal for 2018. The Agency insists that the goal is achievable despite the proposed slashing of the program’s funding by 30% for fiscal year 2018. In May of 2017, Pruitt directed a task force to study how to reshape the Program using the Agency’s current resources. The report, which makes over 40 recommendations, recommends emphasizing the potential for Superfund sites to be redeveloped or reused and encouraging responsible parties to work with developers eager to redevelop the land. Another proposed avenue to expedite cleanup is to emphasize the use of “early actions” to cleanup contamination before a comprehensive, site-wide remedial decision is made. It is not clear from the recommendations what affect early actions would have upon a responsible party’s ability to recover response cost from other responsible parties.
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