The Cleanup Process
The Superfund cleanup process begins with site discovery
or notification to EPA of possible releases of hazardous substances.
Sites are discovered by various parties, including citizens, State
agencies, and EPA Regional offices. Once discovered, sites are entered
into the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and
Liability Information System (CERCLIS), EPA's computerized inventory
of potential hazardous substance release sites. EPA then evaluates
the potential for a release of hazardous substances from the site
through these steps in the Superfund cleanup process:
• Preliminary Assessment/Site Inspection (PA/SI) - This
is the first step in the process and culminates in a Hazard Ranking Score
(HRS)- a screening mechanism used to place sites on the National Priorities
List. The HRS evaluates not only the substances being released and the
impact on the immediate vicinity, but the potential and type of pathway
(groundwater, air, etc) for future contamination. The Central Chemical
Site Identification occurred in 1987, when a sewer line on the property
was illegally excavated.
• National Priority List (NPL)
Site Listing Process - This is a list of the most serious sites
identified for possible long-term cleanup. After the HRS had been established,
Central Chemical was placed on the NPL in 1997. The EPA generated this
report. A report on the Central Chemical Hazard Ranking Score is posted
on TOSC representative Robin Gilden's page
• Remedial Investigation/Feasibility
Study (RI/FS) - This step determines the nature and extent
of contamination. The RI/FS process has several steps and typically lasts
1-2 years. Although this step has two components, Remedial Investigation
and Feasibility Study, they are conducted concurrently. This process is
where the bulk of decisions that impact how the site will be used in the
future are made. Within the RI/FS process, there are several phases: Scoping,
Site Characterization, Development and Screening of Alternative Remediations,
Treatablitiy Investigations and Detailed Analysis. The RI/FS process kicked
off on March 26, 2003.
At Central Chem, the RI/FS process is managed by the EPA with oversight
from the Land Use Committee. A detailed description of the process from
the EPA end is posted here.
The reports from the Land Use Committee are delivered at periodic public meetings.
• Record of Decision (ROD) - explains which cleanup alternatives
will be used at NPL sites. The Record of Decision is essentially a public
document that records the findings and outcome of the RI/FS.
• Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) - preparation
and implementation of plans and specifications for applying site remedies.
The length of this process is dependant on the remediation process selected
in the RI/FS. The Design phase details the specifics of the project to
be undertaken, while the Action phase covers implementation.
• Construction Completion and Post Construction Completion
- Identifies completion of cleanup activities after construction to ensure
that the response provided for the long-term protection of human health
and the environment.
• Operation and Maintenance (O&M) - The final step before
• Site Deletion from the NPL. The long-term maintenance
and supervision of the remediation process includes inspection, sampling,
and reporting, and is the responsibility of either the State or Potentially
Responsible Party (PRP).