General FFRRO Information
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From nuclear weapons plants and military bases to landfills and fuel distribution stations, the U.S. government operates thousands of facilities across the country that promote the security and welfare of American citizens. Constant improvements in technology and national security now permit that many of these facilities be transformed for other beneficial uses.
After years of vital service and operation, some of these facilities, however, contain environmental contamination, such as hazardous wastes, unexploded ordnance, radioactive wastes or other toxic substances.
To reduce the cost of cleanup and reuse of such sites, the EPA's Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) coordinates creative solutions that protect both human health and the environment. Such solutions restore facilities so they can once again serve an important role in the economy and welfare of local communities and our country.
"To lead the Federal government in building partnerships to provide effective, efficient and timely cleanup and reuse of Federal facilities."
To overcome the difficulties posed by contamination at federal facilities, FFRRO works with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE), and other federal entities to develop creative, cost-effective solutions to their environmental problems. FFRRO's overall mission is to facilitate faster, more effective and less costly cleanup and reuse of federal facilities. By focusing on partnering and public involvement, FFRRO and its counterpart offices in the EPA Regions have made great strides in improving federal facilities cleanup.
FFRRO functions with the following specific goals in mind:
- Protecting human health and the environment at and near federal facilities.
- Promoting reuse of federal properties in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.
- Enhancing the cleanup process.
- Ensuring effective stakeholder involvement at federal facilities.
"The hallmarks to FFRRO's work — and the keys to its success — are partnering, innovation and community involvement."
- Policy development and implementation:
To ensure the effective and timely cleanup of federal facilities, FFRRO plays a major role in the development and implementation of U.S. laws, regulations, policy and guidance.
- Outreach and Training:
Outreach efforts by FFRRO include the dissemination of information through the production of publications. In addition, FFRRO provides support for training courses to federal, state and local government staff tasked with implementing cleanup programs for federal facilities. View publications and newsletters via Information Resources or learn more about FFRRO's outreach and training.
- Stakeholder Involvement:
Meaningful stakeholder involvement in the cleanup decision-making process has resulted in significant reductions in cleanup costs and increased effectiveness of cleanup and has ensured that cleanup decisions reflect the diverse interests at federal facilities. FFRRO has established partnerships with states, agencies, organizations and individuals to provide for the maximum possible level of stakeholder involvement in decision-making and priority-setting related to cleanup of federal facilities. FFRRO currently collaborates with tribal associations, environmental groups, labor organizations, community groups and universities to ensure that social, cultural and economic factors are considered when making decisions at federal facilities. Learn more about stakeholder involvement.
- Interagency Coordination:
FFRRO works with other federal agencies, primarily DoD and DOE, to coordinate initiatives related to the cleanup of federal properties. FFRRO participates on DoD's Defense Environmental Response Task Force (DERTF), which was created by Congress to provide recommendations on environmental restoration at Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) facilities. FFRRO also serves on DOE's Environmental Management Advisory Board (EMAB). Learn more about FFRRO's interagency coordination.
FFRRO Program Components
FFRRO's work consists of two core components: the Superfund Federal Facilities Response program and the Base Realignment and Closure program.
FFRRO works internally within EPA, as well as with DoD, DOE and other federal agencies to find protective, creative and cost-effective cleanup solutions. Under FFRRO, EPA provides technical and regulatory oversight at federal facilities on the National Priorities List (NPL) to ensure protection of human health, effective program implementation and meaningful public involvement. FFRRO approves other federal agencies' cleanup remedies. EPA's Federal Facilities Response program is growing. See the Mid-Year 2010 National Priorities List Program Snapshot | PowerPoint Version (2pp, 213K) for more information.
FFRRO's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program develops policies, plans and programs to expedite the cleanup and reuse of closing military installations. Since 1993, EPA's BRAC program has worked with DoD, state environmental programs, local governments and communities to achieve the administration's goal of "making property environmentally acceptable for transfer, while protecting human health and the environment."
For more information visit FFRRO's Program Components page.
Relevant Statutory Authorities
FFRRO redesigned the Compendium of Federal Facilities Cleanup Management Information (EPA Publication Number: 505-B-03-002) to assist you in learning about the background of the cleanup program. The compendium gives you easy access to selected documents, providing you with a better understanding of the issues and regulations related to the cleanup of federal facilities.
Several federal statutes have established requirements for EPA and other federal agencies to protect human health and the environment, including:
- The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, better known as Superfund, amended by the Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act (SARA) of 1986.
- The Defense Authorization Amendments and Base Realignment and Closure Acts (BRAC) of 1998 and the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990.
- The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HS WA) including Subtitle C (hazardous waste), Subtitle D (solid waste), Subtitle I (underground storage tanks), and Subtitle J (otherwise known as the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988).
Read more about these and other relevant laws in the FFRRO Library.