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Superfund Technical Support and Resource Centers

This page contains links to Superfund program research needs, Office of Research and Development research plans and results for Superfund, and sources of technical support for Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action program staff.

Technical Review Workgroup for Metals and Asbestos (TRW) - The TRW is an interoffice workgroup convened by the U.S. EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management/Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OLEM/OSRTI). Its goal is to support and promote consistent application of the best science in the field of risk assessment for metals and asbestos at contaminated sites nationwide. The TRW operates technical support hotlines which provide assistance with metals and asbestos risk assessment:
Metals Hotline
Asbestos Hotline

Superfund Health Risk Technical Support Center (STSC)
The STSC is managed by the U.S. EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in Cincinnati, Ohio. The STSC provides technical support to EPA program and regional offices in the area of human health risk assessment. Examples include the development of Provisional Peer-Reviewed Toxicity Value (PPRTV) assessments, scientific consultations, and support for interpreting U.S. EPA publications and other guidance, and risk assessment methods research on chemical pollutants. For further information, contact 513-569-7300 or Teresa Shannon, the STSC Administrator (513-569-7596).

Ground Water Technical Support Center (GWTSC) - The GWTSC, managed by EPA's Office of Research and Development, provides support to EPA staff on issues regarding subsurface contamination, contaminant fluxes to other media (e.g., surface water or air), and ecosystem restoration. The GWTSC creates critical links between research and real-world problems, providing a testing ground for research and allowing scientists to focus on high priority problems. The GWTSC works in conjunction with support centers located in other Laboratories and Divisions within the Office of Research and Development as part of the U.S. EPA Technical Support Project.

Monitoring and Site Characterization Technical Support Center (TSC) - This TSC, managed by EPA's Office of Research and Development, supports Superfund and RCRA staff with on- and off-site monitoring and site characterization issues. When on-site work is required, the TSC mobilizes specialized teams of field scientists equipped with portable or deployable instruments to aid the Regions with screening and site characterization. Expertise is available for support throughout a site characterization event, i.e., from planning and design to analysis and data interpretation.

In addition to direct technical support, the TSC facilitates technical communication to the Regions through the Technology Transfer Project. Fact sheets and issue papers help to keep EPA up-to-date with the services available through the TSC and the scientific community apprised of technology innovations. Team efforts between the TSC, ESD-LV researchers, and the Region result in better technology, quicker response, and greater legal defensibility.

Engineering Technical Support Center (ETSC) - The ETSC, managed by EPA's Office of Research and Development, offers short- and long-term assistance to Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action staff. Assistance focuses on treatment technologies and engineering approaches to site management at any phase from problem identification through remedial action. ETSC is staffed by dedicated EPA scientists and engineers, whose expertise is supplemented by lab-wide technology teams and external contractors/consultants. Active tech teams include solidification/stabilization, destruction, thermal technologies, ex-situ water treatment, bioremediation, mine waste remedies, and wood treatment remedies. EPA project managers can request assistance by contacting John McKernan at 513-569-7415 or

Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center (EPIC) - EPIC, managed by EPA's Office of Research and Development, provides a wide range of remote sensing and aerial photographic analyses to EPA staff in support of investigations under Superfund, RCRA, or the CWA. Services include aerial photo overflight planning, collateral data acquisition, aerial film processing, historical aerial photo search and acquisition, and GIS data base development. EPIC produces fully annotated maps and photos accompanied by descriptive text to document historical or current analyses of hazardous waste disposal and handling, emergency response efforts and inventories of potential hazardous waste sites. Also provided are specialized analyses including wetlands classification and delineation, photogeology and fracture trace analysis and photogrammetric mapping. EPIC maintains a multidiscipline staff with backgrounds in geography, geology, biology, remote sensing, forestry, and natural resource management.

For further information about EPIC, contact: Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, 555 National Center, Reston, VA 20192, or by phone (703) 648-4290.

Center for Exposure Assessment Modeling (CEAM) - CEAM, managed by EPA's Office of Research and Development, meets exposure assessment needs of EPA as well as state environmental and resource management agencies. CEAM provides proven predictive exposure assessment techniques for aquatic, terrestrial, and multimedia pathways for organic chemicals and metals. A wide range of analysis techniques is provided, ranging from simple desk-top techniques suitable for screening analysis, to sophisticated, state-of-the-art continuous simulation models.

CEAM distributes environmental simulation models and databases for urban and rural nonpoint sources, conventional and toxic pollution of streams, lakes and estuaries, tidal hydrodynamics, geochemical equilibrium, and aquatic food chain bioaccumulation. CEAM also reviews and evaluates potential and existing software products, maintains and tests source code and command files, and provides user support. For more information about CEAM or supported exposure assessment models, see Distribution and Support Policy or browse the Frequently Asked Questions. To provide comments or ask a question, feel free to contact CEAM.

Individual ORD researchers also provide site-specific technical support regarding sediment fate and transport and food chain models on a limited basis. To request this support, contact Earl Hayter at ORD's National Exposure Research Lab at

Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) - The ERASC provides technical information and addresses scientific questions of concern or interest on topics relevant to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites for Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action staff. Requests must be channeled to ERASC through the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF). To assess emerging and complex scientific issues that require expert judgment, the ERASC relies on the expertise of scientists and engineers located throughout EPA Office of Research and Development labs and centers. ERASC develops responses that reflect the "state of the science" for ecological risk assessment and also provides a communication point for the distribution of the responses to other interested parties. For further information, contact or call 513-569-7940.

Hazardous Substance Technical Liaisons (HSTLs) - The HSTL Program was created to:

  • Station a Hazardous Substances Technical Liaison (HSTL) in the Regions to facilitate access to ORD laboratories, national centers, and ORD headquarters.
  • Provide and facilitate ORD's technical support programs in Regional OSWER programs.
  • Promote the use of sound science and engineering in Regional decision making in the OSWER programs.

Technical Liaisons are ORD senior scientists and engineers located in the Regional Superfund offices. They interact on a daily basis with Superfund and RCRA staff and management. The Liaisons foster communications, especially the transfer of scientific and engineering products, between ORD Laboratories and the Regions. They also provide direct assistance by applying their expertise in a variety of areas.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP) - The primary mission of the SBRP is to support research and outreach activities to address the broad, complex health and environmental issues that arise from the multimedia nature of hazardous waste sites. This Web site contains information on the research being conducted under the SBRP.

Emergency Response Team (ERT) - Established in 1978 under the Clean Water Act and mandated as one of the Special Forces under the National Contingency Plan (NCP), the ERT, a branch within the EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), is comprised of a group of EPA technical professionals, who provide the EPA Regional and Headquarters Offices, U. S. Coast Guard, District Offices, Federal, State, local Agencies, and foreign governments, experienced technical and logistical assistance in responding to environmental emergencies such as oil or hazardous materials spills, and the characterization and clean up of hazardous waste sites.