The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released FASB Interpretation No. 47, Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations, or the costs of taking plants out of service. Under FASB's new guidance, companies would have to immediately recognize on their balance sheets the costs of work that would be needed to close a factory -- such as asbestos clean-up -- even if it's uncertain when, if or how the work would be done. Interpretation 47 is effective no later than the end of fiscal years ending after Dec. 15, 2005 (Dec. 31, 2005, for calendar-year enterprises). Copies of Interpretation 47 are scheduled to be available in April 2005, through the FASB Order Department at (800) 748-0659 or by placing an order on the FASB Web site at www.fasb.org.

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