Policy and Guidance
The information below highlights important EPA policy and guidance that will assist in the redevelopment of a Superfund site. This information has been organized into three broad categories.
Legal Guidance on Reuse
The following legal guidance explain how to obtain federal Superfund liability protection before you purchase a Superfund site as well as EPA Windfall Liens that might arise on the site. Specifically, they will help you understand criteria you must meet in order to qualify for 'bona fide prospective purchaser' status, under what circumstances a Windfall Lien may be placed on your site, and EPA approaches for potentially resolving Windfall Lien concerns.
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for Obtaining 'Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser' Status (Common Elements
Guidance) (PDF) (22 pp, 366K)
This guidance describes the eight criteria landowners must meet in order to qualify for 'bona fide prospective purchaser' status.
Also see the Common Elements Reference Sheet (PDF) (6 pp, 204K).
- All Appropriate
“All appropriate inquiries” is the process of evaluating a property’s environmental conditions and assessing potential liability for any contamination. Also view the Fact Sheet on All Appropriate Inquiries Final Rule (PDF) (2 pp, 113K).
Lien Guidance (PDF) (32 pp, 386K)
Describes EPA's and DOJ's approach to settling Windfall Liens and discusses comfort/status letters and agreements that EPA may, at its discretion, provide to a 'bona fide prospective purchaser' in order to address the bona fide prospective purchaser's Windfall Lien concerns.
Also view the additional Windfall Lien Information (PDF) (4 pp, 157K).
- Frequent Questions about Legal Issues
A web page that highlights answers to several questions related to legal issues associated with the redevelopment of Superfund sites. Issues discussed include Superfund and Windfall Liens and criteria for establishing 'bona fide prospective purchaser' status.
- See also Legal Policy and Guidance Related to Reuse
General Reuse Guidance
The following are summaries of documents and links that contain additional information potentially relevant to your redevelopment project.
- Policy on the
Issue of Comfort/Status Letters
EPA may issue comfort letters to parties seeking to purchase, develop, or operate on contaminated or potentially contaminated property to provide some level of "comfort" that EPA will not pursue them for the costs to clean up any contamination resulting from the previous use.
Also view the Comfort/Status Letters Fact Sheet (PDF) (18 pp, 61K).
- Tools & Resources
Describes a variety of tools and resources provided by Region 5 and the national Superfund Redevelopment program to support Superfund site redevelopment. Issues and services discussed include legal issue clarification, liability clarification, EPA documentation to indicate "Ready for Reuse" status, support services for community-based site redevelopment planning, and EPA support to return clean but vacant properties to productive use.
Superfund Redevelopment Initiative Guidance & Policy
Provides descriptions and, when available, links to numerous additional documents relevant to Superfund redevelopment made available by the national Superfund Redevelopment Program.
Cleanup Enforcement Policy & Guidance
Provides links to numerous Superfund cleanup enforcement policy and guidance documents, including documents on consent decree procedures, cost recovery, institutional controls, etc.
Reuse Guidance on Technical Issues
The following technical guidance are primarily for EPA and state remedial project managers. However, because these documents discuss EPA policy on tools for incorporating future land use considerations into the remedy decision making process and Ready for Reuse determinations, you may be interested in certain portions of these documents.
Use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process (PDF) (11 pp, 915K)
A framework for considering land use in making remedy selection decisions under CERCLA at Superfund sites.
for Preparing Superfund Ready for Reuse (RfR) Determinations (PDF) (13 pp, 166K)
Provides information on the use and preparation of RfR determinations at Superfund sites.