Experience has demonstrated that not all emergency response or removal actions classified under the National Contingency Plan (NCP) are equally urgent. For example, situations involving fire or explosions or imminent, catastrophic contamination of a reservoir may require prompt and expeditious attention, while certain situations involving abandoned hazardous waste drums or cleanup of abandoned industrial facilities may not. Based on the NCP, EPA defines the following types of removal actions:
- Classic Emergencies: Those actions where the release requires that on-site activities be initiated within minutes or hours of the determination that a removal action is appropriate. Read an example of a classic emergency response.
- Long-term clean-up efforts
may respond to less urgent recent releases, or may
involve clean-up at long-term Superfund sites:
- Time-Critical Actions: Those actions where, based on an evaluation of the site, EPA determines that less than six months is available before site activities must be initiated.
- Non-Time-Critical Actions: Those actions where, based on an evaluation of the site, EPA determines that more than six months is available before on-site activities must begin.