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Institutional Controls, Land Use and Relocations

Future land use plays a critical role in selecting remedial strategies at most Superfund Sites; it is a consideration for establishing contaminant cleanup levels based on risk. Institutional Controls (ICs) are administrative or legal controls imposed on land parcels to prevent human exposure to contaminants. ICs are often maintained at sites during cleanup or at sites with residual contamination after cleanup. Relocations of residences or businesses are occasionally used to facilitate cleanup efforts and protect the public. The move may be either temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances of a particular site. Many considerations come into play in the relocation of families or businesses.

Assistance in answering questions concerning Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) and remediation enforcement is available through the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) Office of Site Remediation Enforcement (OSRE)

Institutional Controls

Institutional Controls
Provides an overview of Institutional Controls (ICs) and links to pertinent guidance documents.

"Institutional Controls and Transfer of Real Property Under CERCLA Section 120(h)(3)(A), (B), or (C,)" (February 2000)
Designed to implement the President's policy of promoting, encouraging, and facilitating the redevelopment and reuse of closing military bases while continuing to protect human health and the environment. Requires that the transferring federal agency demonstrate prior to transfer that certain procedures are in place, or will be put in place, that will provide EPA with sufficient basis for determining that the institutional controls will perform as expected in the future. [9 pp]

"Code of Federal Regulations (40CFR Part 300, Subpart E)"
Provide guidelines on the use of Institutional Controls during the RI/FS and remedy selection processes. See the designated page number for each section below:

Land Use

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"Land Use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process" (May 1995)
Emphasizes land use considerations when making remedy selection decisions under CERCLA at NPL sites. The EPA believes that early community involvement focusing on desired future uses of the property will result in expedited, cost-effective, and publicly-supported cleanups. [11 pp]
OSWER 9355.7-04, NTIS: PB95-963234INX
PDF Searchable (815 K)

"Reuse Assessments: A Tool to Implement the Superfund Land Use Directive" (June 2001)
Reaffirms the directive "Land Use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process"(OSWER 9355.7-04) and extend its application to non-time critical removal actions. The "Reuse Assessment" in Appendix 1 is introduced as a support tool during the land use assessment process. [24 pp]
OSWER 9355.7-06P
PDF Searchable (83 K)

Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI)
Focuses on helping communities return Superfund sites to productive use. The SRI concept requires a comprehensive study of future land use before choosing a cleanup remedy.


Superfund Relocation Information
Provides links to "Interim Policy on the Use of Permanent Relocation as a Part of Superfund Remedial Actions." in HTML and PDF formats. This interim policy will assist EPA Regional decision makers on when to consider permanent relocation as part of a Superfund remedial action. The page also provides the Federal Register Notice of the Superfund Permanent Relocation Policy established June 30, 1999.

"Guidance on Non-NPL Removal Actions Involving Nationally Significant or Precedent-Setting Issues" (March 1989)
Outlines the defining criteria to determine which non-NPL removal actions require Headquarters concurrence, and which non-NPL removals are subject to other policy procedures. Removals that involve business relocations should be handled according to the policy procedures specified. [9 pp]
OSWER 9360.0-19
PDF Searchable (32 K)


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