Environmental Hazard:

Environmental Response and Liability Act

The purpose of the Environmental Response and Liability Act is to provide a fast and safe solution to the clearance of contaminated areas as well as to identify the responsible parties and get back the costs of the clearance from those parties. Anyone found to have disposed of hazardous waste at the contaminated site would be considered a responsible party.

The Environmental Response and Liability Act program is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  This Act gives the EPA the power to force those responsible to fund the clean up of the contaminated site or get the responsible people to carry out the clearance if deemed safe to do so. However, if no responsible party is identified or is unable to fund the clearance through bankruptcy etc. a trust fund is in place, which can be used to fund these clean-ups.

The Environmental Response and Liability Act was introduced in 1980 where it introduced a tax on chemical industries and petroleum industries. This Act also provided the authority for direct federal response to the threat of contamination that could pose a risk to public health and environmental health.