An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »


Contaminated Sediments Technical Advisory Group

On this page:


The Contaminated Sediments Technical Advisory Group (CSTAG) consults and advises on large, complex, or controversial contaminated sediments sites. CSTAG:

  • Assists in the management and implementation of nationally consistent sediment characterization and remedial actions across OLEM’s remedial programs.
  • Helps remedial project managers and on-scene coordinators appropriately investigate and manage sites in accordance with risk management principles.
  • Promotes national consistency in the characterization and management of sediment sites by providing a forum for exchanging technical and policy information.
  • Promotes the use of state-of-the-science tools and methods to characterize sites and help ensure the selection of cost-effective remedies that achieve long-term protection while minimizing short-term impacts.

The CSTAG was created in 2002 and the charter was revised in March 2020 as part of the Superfund Task Force (SFTF) efforts to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the Superfund program. EPA revisions to the process are expected to result in a more collaborative approach that allows for early stakeholder engagement and improved national consistency. Changes include:

  • CSTAG will now participate and give recommendations at several key points in the decision-making process rather than only the initiation and finalization of a site response.
  • EPA will track whether Regions implemented the CSTAG recommendations, and if not, why not.  This will increase accountability, national consistency and allow for EPA to learn from experience.
  • Experts will be added as CSTAG reviewers as warranted by site-specific circumstances.

For more information on changes made to the CSTAG process, see:

Top of Page

Site Universe

Remedial actions at large contaminated sediment sites can be challenging, so EPA established a two-tiered designation to ensure that Superfund site managers appropriately consider sediment management principles in risk management decisions. These designations determine which sites are subject to review by the CSTAG.

Tier 1 includes all sites or areas where the proposed or selected sediment action will address more than 10,000 cubic yards or five acres of contaminated sediment. At these sites, the EPA regional office describes for EPA headquarters how it considered the 11 sediment management principles in its decisions.

Tier 2 status is limited to a small number of Tier 1 sites that are large, complex or controversial. CSTAG provides a review and advisory function for Tier 2 sites.

EPA typically identifies sites as Tier 2 during the National Priorities List listing process or later as additional information becomes available. The sites are then subject to CSTAG reviews until the record of decisionHelprecord of decisionA public document that explains the cleanup method that will be used at a Superfund site, based on EPA studies, public comments, and community concerns. or equivalent is signed.

Afterwards, CSTAG may review site progress during informal updates.

Top of Page

CSTAG Operating Procedures

The CSTAG Charter outlines the Group’s operating procedures.

For reference, previous operating procedures can be found below:

Top of Page


CSTAG is comprised of EPA scientists, engineers and site managers with expertise in sediment site management and evaluation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also participates.

CSTAG members provide unbiased technical advice and objectively evaluate site-specific information from a scientific and technical perspective. 

CSTAG membership consists of one representative from each EPA regional office, two representatives from EPA’s Office of Research and Development, three representatives from EPA’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, and one representative from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

If warranted by site circumstances or topics, ad hoc experts may participate in site meetings, as appropriate.

Members participate in monthly conference calls and two to four meetings per year.

Office Contact Name Phone

Karl Gustavson (Chair) (

Marc Greenberg (

Matt Lambert (



Region 1 Kymberlee Keckler ( 617-918-1385
Region 2 Doug Tomchuck ( 212-637-3956
Region 3 Randy Sturgeon ( 215-814-3227
Region 4 Craig Zeller ( 404-562-8827
Region 5 Jim Saric ( 312-886-0992
Region 6 Gary Baumgarten ( 214-665-6749
Region 7 None currently assigned  
Region 8 None currently assigned  
Region 9 Wayne Praskins ( 415-972-3181
Region 10 Sean Sheldrake ( 206-553-1220

Barbara Bergen (

Lawrence Burkhard (


ACE ERDC Earl Hayter ( 864-656-5942

Top of Page