REGULATORY MATTERS, COMMITMENTS, CONTINGENCIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITIES
Contingent Residual Support Agreement with ETP
The Company provides contingent, residual support to Citrus ETP Finance LLC (on a non-recourse basis to the Company) with respect to Citrus ETP Finance LLC’s obligations to ETP to support the payment of $2 billion in principal amount of senior notes issued by ETP on January 17, 2012.
In March 2016, the FERC commenced an audit of Trunkline for the period from January 1, 2013 to present to evaluate Trunkline’s compliance with the requirements of its FERC gas tariff, the accounting regulations of the Uniform System of Accounts as prescribed by the FERC, and the FERC’s annual reporting requirements.
The Company’s operations are subject to federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations regarding water quality, hazardous and solid waste management, air quality control and other environmental matters. These laws, rules and regulations require the Company to conduct its operations in a specified manner and to obtain and comply with a wide variety of environmental regulations, licenses, permits, inspections and other approvals. Failure to comply with environmental laws, rules and regulations may expose the Company to significant fines, penalties and/or interruptions in operations. The Company’s environmental policies and procedures are designed to achieve compliance with such applicable laws and regulations. These evolving laws and regulations and claims for damages to property, employees, other persons and the environment resulting from current or past operations may result in significant expenditures and liabilities in the future. The Company engages in a process of updating and revising its procedures for the ongoing evaluation of its operations to identify potential environmental exposures and enhance compliance with regulatory requirements.
The Company is responsible for environmental remediation at certain sites on its natural gas transmission systems for contamination resulting from the past use of lubricants containing PCBs in compressed air systems; the past use of paints containing PCBs; and the prior use of wastewater collection facilities and other on-site disposal areas. The Company has implemented a program to remediate such contamination. The primary remaining remediation activity on the Company’s systems is associated with past use of paints containing PCBs or PCB impacts to equipment surfaces and to a building at one location. The PCB assessments are ongoing and the related estimated remediation costs are subject to further change. Other remediation typically involves the management of contaminated soils and may involve remediation of groundwater. Activities vary with site conditions and locations, the extent and nature of the contamination, remedial requirements, complexity and sharing of responsibility. The ultimate liability and total costs associated with these sites will depend upon many factors. If remediation activities involve statutory joint and several liability provisions, strict liability, or cost recovery or contribution actions, the Company could potentially be held responsible for contamination caused by other parties. In some instances, the Company may share liability associated with contamination with other potentially responsible parties. The Company may also benefit from contractual indemnities that cover some or all of the cleanup costs. These sites are generally managed in the normal course of business or operations.
The Company’s environmental remediation activities are undertaken in cooperation with and under the oversight of appropriate regulatory agencies, enabling the Company under certain circumstances to take advantage of various voluntary cleanup programs in order to perform the remediation in the most effective and efficient manner.
The table below reflects the amount of accrued liabilities recorded on the consolidated balance sheets at the dates indicated to cover environmental remediation activities where management believes a loss is probable and reasonably estimable. The Company is not able to estimate the possible loss or range of loss in excess of amounts accrued. The Company does not have any material environmental remediation matters assessed as reasonably possible.
March 31, 2016
December 31, 2015
Total environmental liabilities