WASHINGTON-Small businesses will get some liability exemptions under Senate Democrats' Superfund proposal unveiled April 18. They won't get as many, however, as in the Republican proposals disclosed March 22.
Under the Democratic Superfund plan, businesses with 25 or fewer employees and annual earnings of less than $2 million are exempt from liability for any activities involving hazardous waste before the proposal's enactment.
Also exempted are:
All companies with fewer than 100 employees who contribute non-hazardous solid waste to a Superfund site;
All generators and transporters of non-hazardous solid waste for any activities before the proposal's enactment; and
De micromis parties who contribute less than 110 gallons of liquid or 200 pounds of solid mat-erials which contain hazardous substances.
De minimis parties-those who contribute 1 percent or less of the total waste to a Superfund site-are eligible for expedited settlements, as are companies with fewer than 100 employees which don't meet requirements for the above exemptions.
The Senate Democratic Superfund plan has several similarities to the GOP proposal. Among these are provisions to pay ``orphan shares'' of Superfund liability through corporate Superfund taxes, and to limit generators and transporters of municipal solid waste to 10 percent of total cleanup costs at any Superfund site.
The Republican Superfund proposal, however, offers de facto retroactive liability repeal for toxic waste dumping before Superfund became law on Dec. 11, 1980.
The Republicans also would grant de minimis parties an absolute exemption from liability.