A new proposed Governmental Accounting Standards Board standard on accounting for pollution remediation may not decontaminate America's brownfields, but if adopted, it should make governmental financial statements a little neater.The proposal establishes a consistent way for governments to report certain costs and long-term obligations relating to pollution remediation. Any one of five triggering events would require a government to recognize a liability and apply an expected cash-flow measurement technique to recognize related liabilities, expenses and expenditures.

"This proposed standard would result in more uniform recognition of environmental liabilities that are out there, some of which have not been reported," said GASB project manager Wesley Galloway. "In certain cases, those will be material to financial statements."

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