New EPA policy allows PCB-tainted
sites to change hands before cleanup
WASHINGTON-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is changing its policy to allow PCB-contaminated properties
to change ownership prior to cleanup.
The agency said the policy shift will encourage cleanup
and revitalization projects, but a Senator from California
accused the agency of weakening protection of the public´s
The EPA discussed its planned policy change in an Aug.
14 internal memo, but the agency never publicly disclosed
its plans until USA Today obtained a copy of the memo.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., issued a statement calling
the EPA´s policy change a "sneak attack."
The Toxic Substances Control Act has barred property
transfers since 1978 whenever PCBs are present. However,
the agency recently concluded that the policy serves as
a disincentive to the cleanup and redevelopment of PCB-contaminated
sites, according to a Sept. 4 agency statement.
The policy erects economic disincentives to redevelopment
and delays the cleanup of properties, according to the
Despite statements from the Bush administration to the
contrary, Boxer accused the administration´s actions
of endangering the public´s health and weakening