June 22, 2001
Council urges broad approach to Superfund refinancing and reform
The Business Council is urging lawmakers to enact comprehensive Superfund refinancing and reform legislation, including a permanent refinancing of the state Superfund and a statewide, incentive-based voluntary cleanup program.
The Council outlined its preferred approach to Superfund refinancing and reform in a June 20 letter to Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. In the letter, Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh said The Council continues to support the approach outlined by the Senate.
"Superfund program reforms are needed, and should, at minimum, recognize the future use of resources as part of the cleanup process, and provide post-cleanup liability releases-with reasonable reservations-for responsible parties," Walsh wrote.
New York also needs a voluntary cleanup program that includes:
- Protective cleanup standards that reflect the intended use of the site to be cleaned.
- Post-cleanup liability protection for parties that clean sites, with limited reservations on circumstances in which such cases can be reopened.
- Liability reforms to protect innocent landowners, lenders and municipalities from litigation in connection with hazardous materials they had no role in depositing.
- Economic incentives that target properties and projects that need state assistance to go forward.
"This approach is modeled on successful legislative programs adopted in other major states," Walsh wrote.
The Council also opposes new taxes or fees on manufacturers to refinance the Superfund, as well as new enforcement provisions proposed in the Executive Budget. The Senate has proposed refinancing Superfund by dedicating existing Article 9-A revenues to it. The Council supports this approach.