Contingent Environmental Liabilities: Disclosures and Accounting (Portfolio 5136)

  • This Portfolio explains how to meet the challenges of heightened scrutiny, socially responsible investing, and increased transparency regarding contingent environmental liabilities.


Tax Portfolio 5136, Contingent Environmental Liabilities: Disclosures and Accounting, explains how to account for and disclose contingent environmental liabilities. Accounting for environmental liabilities is increasingly important in an era of heightened scrutiny, a rise in socially responsible investing, and demands by stakeholders for increased transparency.

This Portfolio reviews applicable laws and regulations; analyzes the risks associated with the failure to account for and effectively disclose environmental liabilities (e.g., civil litigation, criminal charges, and damage to investor relations); and presents examples of corporate practices regarding accounting for and disclosing environmental liabilities. The Portfolio has been designed as a reference source for accountants tasked with accounting for and disclosing contingent environmental liabilities.

This Portfolio may be cited as Tax Portfolio 5136, Evers and Smith, Contingent Environmental Liabilities: Disclosures and Accounting (Accounting Policy and Practice Series).

Note: Various FASB documents, copyrighted by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, 401 Merritt 7, P.O. Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06858-5116, U.S.A., are reprinted with permission.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction and Scope
II. Legal and Regulatory Framework for Accounting and Disclosing Contingent Environmental Liabilities
III. Economic Costs of Non-Compliance With Regulatory Scheme 53
IV. Methods of Accounting and Reporting Contingent Environmental Liabilities
V. Social Equity, Environmental Stewardship and Economic Vitality: The Triple Bottom Line
VI. Corporate Environmental Reporting
VII. Key Laws, Regulations, and Standards
VIII. Examples of Environmental Disclosures
IX. Conclusion

Pamela Evers
Associate Professor
University Of North Carolina Wilmington

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