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PA ASSURANCE MECHANISMS FINALIZED FOR LOCAL GOVT. OWNERS

Release Date: 11/22/96
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PA ASSURANCE MECHANISMS FINALIZED FOR LOCAL GOVT. OWNERS

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1996

ASSURANCE MECHANISMS FINALIZED FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILLS

EPA issued a final rule that gives local governments more flexibility to meet the financial assurance requirements of the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria. The promulgation of the Local Government Financial Test allows local governments to meet their financial assurance obligations for closure, post-closure care and corrective action pursuant to the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Criteria. The effective date for these financial assurance requirements is April 9, 1997, for landfill owners and operators except for small, dry or remote landfill owners and operators who have until Oct. 9, 1997. A local government can make this demonstration by showing that it has issued a general obligation bond for which it received an investment grade rating. A municipality can also show that its cash holdings and debt obligations pass established ratios and thereby meet the financial assurance requirements. In addition, a local government cannot have an excessive operating deficit for each of the last two years relative to the local government's total budget. Local governments must report annually on whether they continue to meet the conditions of the test and inform the public that they are using the test. Local governments that pass the financial test can also assure obligations for other landfill owners and operators if they choose to do so. An estimated 91 percent of local governments can use their financial strength to assure at least part of their obligations and 54 percent can assure all of their obligations using the local government financial test. Those local governments that are eligible to exercise this options can realize substantial cost savings in complying with the Criteria. This rule also gives state directors the authority to waive the financial assurance requirements for up to 12 months for good cause in specific cases where the April 9, 1997, deadline does not provide sufficient time to comply with these requirements and where such a waiver will not adversely affect human health and the environment. For more information, contact the RCRA/ Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9336.

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