EPA Revises “Comfort Letters” to Facilitate Renewable Energy Development on Contaminated Sites

EPA has revised its three model letters that may be used by regional offices when drafting site-specific comfort/status letters for lessees involved in renewable energy projects on contaminated property. The letters are intended to provide lessees who are contemplating leasing property for a proposed renewable energy development  and request a comfort/status letter from the EPA. The letters describe the information EPA currently has about the property and applicable Agency policies to help the lessee make informed decisions as they move forward with renewable energy development on the property.

The three letters for renewable energy development and their links are:

No Prior Federal Interest Comfort/Status Letter -This letter indicates that the property does not appear on any federal databases and EPA does not currently plan on taking federal response or enforcement action under CERCLA or RCRA at the Property

No Current Federal Interest Comfort/Status Letter– This letter describes information about the site that may appear on EPA databases. It will also describe the status of actions that may have been taken such as investigation or remediation, if EPA determines that no further action is required, if the site or portions of the site have been deleted from the NPL and also any reasonable steps that might have to be followed to satisfy the continuing obligations of the BFPP liability protection as well as review the applicability of revised guidance on applicability of the BFPP protections to tenants.

State-lead Interest Comfort/Status Letter -This letter generally indicates that the site might normally be subject to CERCLA or RCRA authority but that EPA is not involved in the day-to-day management of the site because the state has assumed responsibility for work at the site, the site is not being listed under the EPA deferral policy since it is being addressed under a state response program or pursuant to the state RCRA program. The letter encourages the recipient to contact the state for more information.



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