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NPL Listing Process

NPL listing informs the public that the site appears to present sufficient relative risk to warrant the more extensive site characterization of a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS). The EPA region, in consultation with the state, identifies a site as an NPL candidate based on the PA/SI results. The region is responsible for seeing that an HRS scoring package is developed. The EPA region conducts a QC review of the package and submits it to EPA headquarters (HQ).

EPA HQ conducts a policy review and a QA review of the HRS scoring package. After necessary revisions, the site is proposed for listing on the NPL through a published notice in the Federal Register. Three proposals are scheduled each year. Proposal is followed by a 60-day comment period during which the public may submit input on the listing proposal. Commenters frequently dispute the basis for the listing proposal and include detailed analyses of the quality of the documentation. EPA HQ reviews all comments and responds as needed to the comment in a published support document. Preparation of the response may require Regional input if clarification is needed. Site scores are re-calculated based on comments and responses.

The site is listed as final on the NPL, withdrawn from the proposal, or reproposed. Only sites with scores above 28.50 (as re-calculated) can be finally listed. At least two final updates are scheduled each year. After listing, there is a 90-day period for interested parties to enter a legal challenge to the listing of the site.

NPL listing does not promise remedial action, only detailed investigation.

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