"A Future Outlay of Resources"
An environmental liability is defined by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) as a probable, measurable and reasonably estimable future outflow or expenditure of resources that exist as of the financial reporting date for environmental cleanup costs resulting from past transactions or events. Identifying, recording and managing environmental liabilities are challenging for Department of the Interior environmental and financial management programs, as the Department owns a vast variety of assets which may generate environmental liabilities, and the records of those assets may go back centuries, with varying degrees of quality.
The FASAB provides guidance to the requirements of a Federal environmental liabilities program. The EL program is designed to assist Bureaus in establishing the completeness, accuracy and validity of their accounts, with the goal of achieving an unqualified opinion from the independent financial auditors each year.