Frequent Questions

What are the components of the Superfund orphan share compensation program?

Under CERCLA's joint and several liability system, viable Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) are potentially liable for the shares that may be attributable to insolvent or defunct parties who cannot contribute to the cost of cleanup (i.e., the orphan share). In an effort to enhance fairness and encourage PRPs to enter into settlement agreements to perform cleanups, EPA announced in October 1995 that it would compensate performing parties for a limited portion of orphan shares in future cleanup settlements.

On June 3, 1996, EPA issued guidance entitled Interim Guidance on Orphan Share Compensation for Settlors of Remedial Design/Remedial Action and Non-Time-Critical Removals that provides for orphan share compensation where: 1) EPA initiates negotiations for RD/RA or a non-time-critical removal at an NPL site and a PRP or group of PRPs agrees to conduct such actions under consent; and 2) an orphan share exists at the site. The term orphan share refers to that share of responsibility which is specifically attributable to parties EPA has determined are identifiable and potentially liable, insolvent or defunct, and unaffiliated with any party potentially liable for response costs at the site. Regions may provide compensation as long as it does not exceed: 1) the orphan share; 2) the sum of all unreimbursed past costs and projected future oversight costs; or 3) 25% of the projected ROD remedy or non-time-critical removal costs.

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