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State and Tribal Involvement

The rights and responsibilities of the State or Tribal government at a Superfund site will vary depending on certain stipulations. As the Superfund program has evolved, a trend has evolved towards increasing State and Tribal involvement. Approved States and Tribes are now encouraged to take the leads at appropriate sites, freeing existing Superfund resources for use at other sites sooner than otherwise possible.

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).


State, Local, and Tribal
Contains general information concerning the involvement of these other governmental entities within the Superfund Process. Topics covered include: funding, cooperative agreements, deferrals, voluntary cleanups, and several state- and tribal-specific programs.

Superfund Enhanced State and Tribal Role Initiative (STROLE)
Details the State and Tribal Role Initiative begun in 1988. The purpose of this Initiative is to develop a comprehensive plan that EPA can implement to share Superfund Program responsibilities with interested and capable states and tribes.

American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO)
The 1994 EPA Indian Policy was reaffirmed in July, 2001 by EPA Administrator Whitman. The policy directs a "government-to-government" relationship with federally recognized Indian tribes. The AIEO furthers this purport by strengthening public health and environmental protection in Indian Lands and encouraging Indian management of their own programs. The AIEO Policies and Initiative web page covers Indian-specific policies and guidance on consultation, sacred sites, environmental justice, and governmental initiatives. Included is the 1994 Policy document. The AIEO Home Page can be accessed from the Policies page for a more comprehensive look at the organization.

Additional Guidance Documents

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

"Questions and Answers About the State Role in Remedy Selection at Non-Fund Financed Enforcement Sites" (April 1991)
Describes circumstances under which States may select and implement a remedy at NPL sites without first obtaining EPA concurrence. [6 pp]
OSWER 9831.9, NTIS: PB91-187039INZ PDF Searchable (69 K)

"State and Local Involvement in the Superfund Program" (Fall 1989)
Discusses hazardous waste laws, the mechanisms for ensuring state/local involvement, and the roles of political entities, Indian tribes, and local governments. [4 pp]
OSWER 9375.5-01FS, NTIS: PB92-963329INX
PDF Searchable (220 K)

"Guidance on Lead Determinations for CERCLA Fund-Financed Responses" (April 1992)
Describes the recommended procedures used to determine a State's capability of holding the lead agency responsibility for CERCLA fund-financed sites. [7 pp]
OSWER 9355.2-02
PDF Searchable (28 K)

"The Role of CSGWPPs (Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Programs) in EPA Remediation Programs" (April 1997)
Encourages EPA remediation programs to utilize the Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Programs (CSGWPPs) to enable States more flexibility in managing ground water resources.
OSWER 9283.1-09, NTIS: PB95-963325INX [13 pp]

"Final Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Program Guidance"(December 1992)
Assists States in preparing Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Programs (CSGWPPs). The guidance sets forth EPA's preferred ground water protection objectives as guidelines. [134 pp]
EPA 100-R-93-001, NTIS: PB93-163087
PDF Searchable (791 K)

"Guidance on Non-NPL Removal Actions Involving Nationally Significant or Precedent-Setting Issues" (March 1989)
Outlines the defining criteria to determine if a non-NPL removal action requires Headquarters concurrence. Sovereign nations (Indian tribes) are included. [9 pp]
OSWER 9360.0-19
PDF Searchable (32 K)


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