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Key Principles of Superfund Remedy Selection

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The documents identified below provide general guidance on the primary considerations of remedy selection which are universally applicable at Superfund sites. 

Describes key principles, expectations, and best practices (based on program experience) that should be considered during the Superfund remedy selection process. Three major policy areas are covered: human health risk; remedial alternatives; and ground water.

Summarizes the statutory requirements of CERCLA remedy selection as specified in the revised NCP of 1990 and provides the corresponding EPA guidelines for analyzing and selecting Superfund remedies.

Explains considerations of categorizing waste for which treatment or containment will generally be suitable. Provides definitions, examples, and ROD documentation requirements for waste that constitutes a principal or low level threat.

Summarizes the current role of cost in the Superfund program as established by CERCLA, the NCP, and current guidance.

Provides guidance on how to use the baseline risk assessment to make risk management decisions such as determining whether remedial action under CERCLA Sections 104 or 106 is necessary. Clarifies the use of the baseline risk assessment in selecting appropriate remedies under CERCLA Section 121, promotes consistency in preparing site-specific risk assessments, and helps ensure that appropriate documentation from the baseline risk assessment is included in Superfund remedy selection documents.

Presents additional information for considering land use in making remedy selection decisions under CERCLA at NPL sites. 

Reaffirms the directive "Land Use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process" (OSWER 9355.7-04) and extends its application to non-time-critical removal actions.   The "Reuse Assessment" in Appendix I is introduced as a support tool during the land use assessment process.

Section 104(d)(4) of CERCLA allows EPA to treat noncontiguous facilities as one site for the purpose of taking actions when the facilities are related geographically, or on the basis of the threat to human health or the environment. This fact sheet provides a series of questions and answers designed to explain the factors, benefits, and limitations associated with taking a "combined" response action approach.

Describes approaches for overcoming the three areas that often pose coordination difficulties at contaminated sites: acceptance of decisions made by other remedial programs, deferral of activities and coordination among RCRA, and CERCLA and state/tribal cleanup programs.

Identifies selected issue areas that represent the current focus of OSRTI's national Regional coordination effort. A discussion of presumptive remedies is included as one of the focus areas.

Serves as a guide to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and assists EPA and state personnel involved with hazardous waste remediation and emergency response. It provides a basic overview of the Superfund process with an emphasis in Superfund regulations and policies.

Summarizes findings from the report entitled "Streamlining Initiatives: Impact of Federal Facilities Cleanup Process". These initiatives demonstrate cost, timesaving, and quality improvements and result in new, more flexible Superfund cleanups under the current regulatory and statutory frameworks.

Reemphasizes EPA's Policy regarding coordination of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) site cleanup activities as federal facilities, and encourages early and continued coordination between the facilities and the regulatory agencies including authorized states. 

Details the role and purpose of the various EPA offices that are often involved in cleanup of contaminated federal facility sites.

Recommends approaches for regional remedial Superfund programs to consider when evaluating "greener cleanup activities" throughout the remedy selection process, including during response action selection and implementation.  Regional managers should also consider these recommendations when evaluating non-time ciritcal removal actions (NTCRAs).

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