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Superfund Collaborates with States in Developing New Cleanup Technologies

The Superfund law authorizes and directs EPA to provide for an alternative or innovative treatment technology research and demonstration program. This program is managed by EPA?s Superfund office and ORD, working closely with research programs in other federal agencies like he Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy (DoE), and the Department of Defense (DoD), and Centers of Excellence for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. EPA reaches out through contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements to other sectors where new ideas are emerging: universities and colleges; the national laboratories and research institutes; and the many private engineering and consulting firms working daily in the field of hazardous waste cleanup. EPA cooperates with research agendas for major industry sectors and talks regularly with our international partners to learn about their progress and exchange ideas.

Because States conduct the vast majority of cleanups through voluntary, Brownfields, and delegated program cleanups and by supporting Superfund cleanup decisions, State acceptance of innovative treatment technologies is critical to the use of innovative treatment technologies. Coordination with States and State organizations like the Association of State and Territorial Waste Management Officials are instrumental in the identification of technology gaps and guiding the development of increasingly effective approaches to cleanup. Efforts to share information on innovative cleanup technologies are promoted through the Environmental Council of the States, a national non-profit, non-partisan association whose members are the environmental commissioners for the 50 states and the territories. One of their many projects is the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (IRTC) (http://www.itrcweb.org) Exit EPA disclaimer . Through a Superfund cooperative agreement with EPA and additional funding from DoD, DoE, and industry, ITRC develops technical and regulatory guides for new and emerging cleanup technologies that validate the parameters and use of the technologies and their methods of deployment.

State regulators lead the ITRC teams and a "point of contact" is named from each state to integrate the unique technical knowledge in these guides to help develop consistent state regulatory approaches for reviewing and approving specific technologies. This helps guide state programs as they work with EPA to select remedies and make post-construction decisions. The teams develop classroom and Internet-based training courses from the technical and regulatory guides. Last year EPA began making trainings in evaluated alternative technologies widely available using its web-casting abilities through the free-to-all CLU-IN website (http://www.clu-in.org) for internet trainings. Finally, the strong connection established with State governments and the collaborative process ITRC has developed helps all partners better understand the implications and impacts of new cleanup technologies.

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