Frequent Questions

What RCRA liability protections are available for purchasers of contaminated property?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) does not contain specific liability protections for purchasers of contaminated property. However, subject to enforcement discretion and resources, EPA may be able to clarify potential RCRA liability to facilitate reuse, for example to increase the development of renewable energy projects on contaminated properties. 

For more information on reuse of RCRA facilities, visit EPA's RCRA Brownfields website.

For more information on EPA’s enforcement discretion tools, visit EPA's enforcement tools that address liability concerns Web page.

RCRA does contain a "security interest exemption" that provides secured creditors (i.e., lenders) a limited statutory exemption from corrective action liability for releases from underground storage tanks (USTs).

Further, EPA or the appropriate state may be able to work with interested parties regarding the ownership of and liability for the cleanup of USTs. For more information on the reuse of USTs, visit the Petroleum Brownfields website.

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