40 CFR 304.20 - Jurisdiction of Arbitrator.

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§ 304.20 Jurisdiction of Arbitrator.
(a) In accordance with the procedures established by this part, the Arbitrator is authorized to arbitrate one or more issues arising in an EPA claim when:
(1) The total past and projected response costs for the facility concerned do not exceed $500,000, excluding interest; and
(2) The Administrator and one or more PRPs have submitted a joint request for arbitration pursuant to § 304.21 of this part.
(b)
(1) If the total past and projected response costs for the facility concerned increase to a dollar amount in excess of $500,000, excluding interest, prior to the rendering of the final decision pursuant to § 304.33 of this part, the parties may mutually agree to continue the proceeding as non-binding arbitration pursuant to the procedures established by this part, except that §§ 304.33(e) and 304.40 of this part shall not apply.
(2) If all of the parties agree to continue the proceeding as non-binding arbitration, the proposed decision rendered by the Arbitrator pursuant to § 304.33 of this part shall not be binding upon the parties, unless all of the parties agree to adopt the proposed decision as an administrative settlement pursuant to section 122(h)(1) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9622(h)(1). Any administrative settlement agreed upon in this manner shall be subject to the prior written approval of the Attorney General (or his designee) pursuant to section 122(h)(1) of CERCLA and shall be subject to public comment pursuant to section 122(i) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9622(i).
(3) If the parties do not agree to continue the proceeding as non-binding arbitration, or if the administrative settlement agreed upon is not approved by the Attorney General (or his designee), or if EPA withdraws or withholds consent from the administrative settlement as a result of public comment, EPA shall withdraw from the proceeding and the Association shall assess or refund, as appropriate, any administrative fees, expenses, or Arbitrator's fees.
(c) The Arbitrator's authority, as defined by paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, to determine issues arising in EPA's claim is limited only to the issues submitted for resolution by the parties in the joint request for arbitration pursuant to § 304.21 of this part. Any issues arising in EPA's claim that are not submitted for resolution shall be deemed to be not in dispute and shall not be raised in any action seeking enforcement of the decision for the purpose of overturning or otherwise challenging the final decision, except as provided in § 304.40(c) of this part.
(d)
(1) If the issue of liability of any participating PRP has been submitted for resolution, the Arbitrator shall determine whether the participating PRP is liable pursuant to section 107(a) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9607(a), subject only to the defenses specifically enumerated in section 107(b) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9607(b).
(2) If the issue of the dollar amount of response costs recoverable by EPA has been submitted for resolution, the Arbitrator shall determine, pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, the dollar amount of response costs recoverable by EPA pursuant to section 107(a) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9607(a), and shall award the total amount of such costs to EPA.
(3) Unless the Arbitrator finds that the actual or threatened harm at the facility is divisible, any participating PRP whom the Arbitrator determines to be liable shall be jointly and severally liable for the total amount of response costs awarded to EPA. If the Arbitrator finds that the actual or threatened harm is divisible, the Arbitrator shall allocate liability for payment of EPA's award among the participating PRPs based on the portion of the actual or threatened harm attributable to each participating PRP.
(4) Notwithstanding the indivisibility of the actual or threatened harm, and without waiving the general applicability of the joint and several liability standard, as an alternative to paragraph (d)(3) of this section, the parties may request the Arbitrator to allocate responsibility for payment of response costs awarded to EPA among the participating PRPs whom the Arbitrator determines to be liable. Any such request shall be made in the joint request for arbitration pursuant to § 304.21 of this part. If such a request is made, the provisions of paragraphs (d)(4)(i), (d)(4)(ii), and (d)(4)(iii) of this section shall apply.
(i) The joint request for arbitration may specify the factors to be applied by the arbitrator when allocating among the participating PRPs responsibility for payment of the response costs awarded to EPA. If the joint request does not specify such factors, the Arbitrator shall base the allocation on such factors as the arbitrator considers relevant, in his or her sole discretion, such as volume, toxicity, and mobility of the hazardous substances contributed to the facility by each participating PRP, ability to pay, and inequities and aggravating factors.
(ii) The joint request for arbitration may specify that the Arbitrator may allocate among the participating PRPs less than all response costs awarded to EPA. If this is not specified, the Arbitrator shall allocate among the participating PRPs 100% of the response costs awarded to EPA.
(iii) The burden of establishing the appropriate allocation of responsibility for payment of the response costs awarded to EPA shall rest entirely with the participating PRPs.
(5) The parties may request that the Arbitrator perform an allocation even if the issue of the liability of the participating PRPs is not submitted for resolution in the joint request for arbitration. Such a request for allocation shall be made in the joint request for arbitration pursuant to § 304.21 of this part. If such a request is made, the provisions of paragraphs (d)(4)(i), (d)(4)(ii), and (d)(4)(iii) of this section shall apply.
(e)
(1) If any issue concerning the adequacy of EPA's response action has been submitted for resolution or arises during the Arbitrator's determination of the dollar amount of response costs recoverable by EPA, the Arbitrator shall uphold EPA's selection of the response action, unless any participating PRP can establish that the selection was inconsistent with the NCP. The Arbitrator's review of the adequacy of any response action taken by EPA shall be based upon the documents which formed the basis for the selection of the response action.
(2) If the Arbitrator upholds EPA's selection of the response action in full, the Arbitrator shall award EPA all response costs incurred and to be incurred in connection with the response action, unless any participating PRP can establish that all or part of such costs were:
(i) Not actually incurred or to be incurred; or
(ii) Not actually incurred or to be incurred in connection with the response action; or
(iii) Clearly excessive, taking into account the circumstances of the response action and relative to acceptable government procurement and contracting practices in light of the circumstances of the response action.
(3) If the Arbitrator upholds EPA's selection of the response action only in part, the Arbitrator shall award EPA only those response costs incurred and to be incurred in connection with the portions of the response action that were upheld, unless any participating PRP can establish that all or part of such response costs were:
(i) Not actually incurred or to be incurred; or
(ii) Not actually incurred or to be incurred in connection with the portions of the response action that were upheld; or
(iii) Clearly excessive, taking into account the circumstances of the response action and relative to acceptable government procurement and contracting practices in light of the circumstances of the response action.
(4) The standard of review to be applied by the Arbitrator under paragraphs (e)(1), (e)(2), and (e)(3) of this section is arbitrary and capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law.
(5) In reviewing any procedural errors alleged by any party, the Arbitrator may disallow response costs only if the errors were so serious and related to matters of such central relevance that the response action would have been significantly changed had such errors not been made.

Title 40 published on 2013-07-01

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12580