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Federal Facilities Cleanup Enforcement

EPA enforces environmental cleanup requirements at federal facilities. Cleanup enforcement authority is derived from several statutes:

These statutes, as well as Presidential Executive Orders, require federal facilities to clean up environmental contamination at their facilities.

Cleanup under Superfund (CERCLA)

CERCLA is a Federal statute requiring the cleanup of environmental contamination and imposing liability for cleanup on the responsible parties.

CERCLA requires federal agencies to investigate and clean up contamination at their facilities. Federal facilities that are significantly contaminated may be placed on the CERCLA National Priorities List (NPL). For such facilities CERCLA requires that EPA and the federal facility enter into an interagency agreement (IAG -- sometimes called a Federal Facility Agreement or FFA) to govern the cleanup. States often are signatories to these agreements too. Once an agreement has been signed, EPA monitors the cleanup schedule and milestones and oversees its requirements to ensure proper and timely implementation of each cleanup. EPA can assess stipulated penalties for non-compliance with the terms or conditions of the agreement including missed milestones. The FFA also has a formal dispute resolution process that is used when the parties disagree on a penalty or the site investigation or cleanup. Here is a link to the written resolutions to FFA formal disputes since 2008 and some earlier disputes that went to the EPA Administrator.

Interagency Agreements

EPA has entered into the legally-required agreements with other federal agencies for most federal facility NPL sites. The agreements for most sites can be found after selecting a specific site via EPA's Superfund Site Information search page and searching under "Additional Site Documents".

From 2005 to 2010, EPA signed agreements covering 20 sites.  The agreements signed in FY 2009 and FY2010 are below:

EPA monitors the cleanup schedule and milestones and oversees its requirements to ensure proper implementation of each cleanup. EPA can assess stipulated penalties for non-compliance with the terms of the agreement including missed milestones.

The table shows summary Superfund enforcement results from fiscal years 2008 to 2010 at Federal Facilities.

Superfund Enforcement at Federal Facilities FY08 FY09 FY10
Estimated Costs of Complying Actions from Superfund Enforcement Instruments $889,062,014 $372,054,981 $158,356,918*
Estimated Cubic Yards of Contaminated Soil/Sediment Treated, Contained or Removed 8,814,977 3,915,908 3,490,107
Estimated Cubic Yards of Contaminated Groundwater Treated Contained or Removed 106,894,840 46,671,898 5,334,803

* This figure includes $14,012,795 the U.S. Air Force provided to a private party to conduct response work at the former McClellan Air Force base in California.

Interagency Agreements Still in Negotiation

As of May 2011 EPA has been unable to negotiate acceptable terms for the legally-required agreements at four Department of Defense NPL sites. EPA continues to try to negotiate agreements for these four remaining sites:

Additional Information

Federal Facilities Cleanup Enforcement Policy and Guidance.
Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse site provides information on the realignment and closure of military bases (aka BRAC sites).

Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket, required under CERCLA Section 120(c), information on federal facilities engaging in hazardous waste activities or having the potential to release hazardous substances into the environment.

Superfund (CERCLA) Cleanup Enforcement

FedCenter, an interagency virtual compliance assistance center for federal facilities. FedCenter contains information for federal agencies in cleanup environmental contamination.

 


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