EPA's cleanup enforcement program protects human health and the environment by getting those responsible for a hazardous waste site to either clean up or reimburse EPA for its cleanup. EPA uses a number of cleanup authorities independently and in combination to address specific cleanup situations.
EPA's most often used and most powerful cleanup enforcement mechanism is the Comprehensive, Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund). Superfund is a cleanup authority only and does not otherwise regulate a facility's operations. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including the Underground Storage Tank (UST) program, contain both cleanup and regulatory authority. RCRA's cleanup authority is the RCRA Corrective Action program, which addresses cleanup activities at RCRA regulated facilities.
In 2010, EPA initiated the Integrated Cleanup Initiative (ICI), a three-year strategy to identify and implement improvements to the Agency’s land cleanup programs. The Initiative includes a focus on enforcement activities that are critical to ensuring that responsible parties are compelled to clean up contaminated sites, thereby preserving Superfund monies to be used to clean up other sites where viable responsible parties do not exist.
Several other environmental statutes provide EPA with cleanup authorities to address oil spills and imminent dangers to public health. In addition, the cleanup of contaminated property, including brownfields, and the clarification of environmental cleanup liability, are the building blocks to the sustainable reuse of previously-used property. EPA supports appropriate redevelopment of cleaned up waste sites. Cleanup enforcement's role in redevelopment usually addresses liability issues associated with the cleanup of hazardous substances.
Liability | Finding Potentially Responsible Parties | Negotiating Settlements | Recovering Costs from Parties in Bankruptcy | Special Accounts | More...
If you are looking for enforcement information for non-cleanup matters under all of EPA's statutes, visit the Civil Enforcement site. For information on overseeing cleanup enforcement at federal facilities utilizing the authorities mentioned below, visit the Federal Facilities Cleanup Enforcement site.
EPA's Office of Site Remediation Enforcement is primarily responsible for overseeing the national cleanup enforcement program under CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA (including underground storage tanks), and OPA (oil) and addressing cleanup liability issues to promote redevelopment.