WASHINGTON -- The Superfund bill, which includes provisions limiting for lenders, may be moving back on track again.
The White House plans a meeting Tuesday to dicuss the issue, and industry sources said they expect the session to help smooth out some of the controlversies that have brought legislation progress to a halt.
A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency said that the White House and the agency hope to announce a compromise Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Rep. Al Swift, D-Wash., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on transportation and hazardous materials, met with panel Democrats amid speculation that he was close to scheduling a vote on the bill.
In early April, Rep. Swift postponed a vote indefinitely, saying the issues had become too contentious to work out before Congress adjourns.
Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, had warned that he would not schedule action on the bill unless some of the more controversial issues were worked out, said Edward L. Yingling, cheif lobbyist fior the American Bankers Association.
"All of the parties have been talking, and we understand that they are making significant progress" toward a compromise, said Mr. Yingling.
Although the provisions at issue are not bank-related, lenders00000 have a keen interest in the outcome of the session.
Lender Liability Provision
Without the Superfund bill, which provides funds for the clean up of properties contaminated by hazardous chemicals, the lender liability provision has little chance of passing.
The measure would codify a rule adopted by the Environmental Project gency limiting the exposure of lenders in cases where they made loans against properties that turn out to have been contaminated by hazardous chemicals.
THat rule was invalidated Feb. 4 by a federal appeals court.