The Dow Chemical Company provides chemical, plastic, and agricultural products and services to various consumer markets. The following excerpt is taken from the disclosure notes of Dow’s 2008 annual report:
At December 31, 2008, the Company had accrued obligations of $312 million for environmental remediation and restoration costs, including $22 million for the remediation of Superfund sites. This is management’s best estimate of the costs for remediation and restoration with respect to environmental matters for which the Company has accrued liabilities, although the ultimate cost with respect to these particular matters could range up to approximately twice that amount. Inherent uncertainties exist in these estimates primarily due to unknown environmental conditions, changing governmental regulations and legal standards regarding liability, and emerging remediation technologies for handling site remediation and restoration.
Does the excerpt describe a loss contingency? Under what conditions would Dow accrue such a contingency? What journal entry would Dow use to record this amount of provision (loss)?