United  States
                           Environmental Protection
                         Office of
                         Solid Waste  and
                         Emergency Response
Directive: 9355.0-47FS
EPA 540-F-93-047
PB  93-963345
September! 993
Presumptive  Remedies:  Policy
and  Procedures
Office of Emergency and Remedial Response
Hazardous Site Control Division 5203G
                                                  Quick Reference Fact Sheet
Since Superfund's inception in 1980, the remedial and removal programs have found that certain categories of sites have
similar characteristics, such as types of contaminants present, types of disposal practices, or how environmental media are
affected. Based on information acquired from evaluating and cleaning up these sites, Superfund is undertaking an initiative
to develop presumptive remedies to accelerate future cleanups at these sites. The presumptive remedy approach is one tool
of acceleration within the Superfund Accelerated Cleanup Model (SACM).

The objective of the presumptive remedies initiative  is to use the program's past experience to streamline site investigations
and speed up selection of cleanup actions. Overtime presumptive remedies are expected to ensure consistency in remedy
selection and reduce the cost and time required to clean up similar types of sites. Presumptive remedies are expected to
be used at all appropriate  sites except under unusual site-specific circumstances. EPA plans to develop a series of directives
on presumptive remedies for various types of sites.

This directive serves as an overall guide to the presumptive remedies initiative and its effect on site cleanup. Through a
question and answer format, it explains, in general terms, ways in which presumptive remedies will  streamline or change
the remedial and removal processes from the conventional processes and how certain Superfund policies will be affected
by the initiative. This directive also unites the series of directives, due to come out over the next year, on presumptive
remedies for specific site types (e.g., Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), wood treaters, ground water). This general
directive, together with the site type-specific directives, will provide readers with a comprehensive knowledge of the
procedural as well as policy considerations of the presumptive remedies initiative. The directive  is designed for use by staff
involved in managing site cleanups (e.g., Remedial Project Managers (RPMs),  On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs), Site
Assessment Managers (SAMs)). Site  managers in  other programs, such as RCRA Corrective Action, the Underground
Storage Tank program, State Project Managers, or  private sector parties, may also use this directive, as appropriate.
Provided below are several common questions and answers
regarding general issues associated with presumptive

Q1 .    What Are  Presumptive Remedies and
       How Should They Be Used?

A.     Presumptive Remedies are  preferred technologies
       for common categories of sites, based on historical
       patterns of remedy selection and EPA's scientific
       and engineering evaluation of performance data on
       technology implementation. EPA has evaluated
       technologies that have been  consistently selected at
       past sites using the remedy selection criteria set out
                                in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances
                                Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP); reviewed
                                currently available performance  data on  the
                                application of these technologies;  and has
                                determined that a particular remedy, or set of
                                remedies, is presumptively the most appropriate
                                for addressing specific types of sites.

                                Presumptive remedies are expected to be used
                                at all appropriate sites. The approaches described
                                in each presumptive remedies directive are designed
                                to accommodate a wide range of site-specific
                                circumstances. In some cases, multiple technologies
                                are included (e.g., VOCs); in others, various

       components of the presumptive remedy are optional,
       depending on site situation (e.g., municipal
       landfills). Further, these directives recognize that
       at some sites, there may be unusual circumstances
       (such as complex contaminant mixtures,  soil
       conditions, or extraordinary State and community
       concerns) that may require the site manager to  look
       beyond the presumptive remedies for additional
       (perhaps more innovative) technologies or remedial

       These tools will help site managers to focus  data
       collection efforts during site investigations (e.g.,
       remedial investigations, removal site evaluation)
       and significantly reduce the technology evaluation
       phase (e.g., Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis
       (EE/CA) and/or Feasibility Studies (FS)) for certain
       categories of sites.  The specific impacts on the
       various  stages of the remedy selection process are
       highlighted in questions 7 and 8 of this guidance. It
       is advised that presumptive remedies be used  with
       the assistance of the expert teams1 for the various
       categories of sites.

Q2.    Why Should  Presumptive Remedies Be

       Presumptive remedies are expected to have several
       benefits.  Limiting the number of technologies
       considered should promote focused data collection,
       resulting in streamlined site assessments  and
       accelerated remedy selection decisions which
       achieve time and cost savings. Additional time
       savings  could be realized during the remedial design
       since early knowledge of the remedy may allow
       technology-specific data to  be collected upfront
       during  the remedial investigation.  Presumptive
       remedies will also produce the added benefit of
       promoting consistency in remedy selection, and
       improving the predictability of the remedy selection
       process  for communities and potentially responsible
       parties (PRPs).

       Presumptive remedies may be used as part  of a
       wide variety of response actions. These actions
       include non-time-critical  removal  and early
       remedial actions, actions at sites with  different
       leads  (e.g., Fund-lead, State-lead, PRP-lead), actions
       addressing one  or more  contaminated media, actions
       with several operable unitss, and actions involving
       treatment trains.
Q3.    Can   Presumptive   Remedies  be
       Implemented Within the  Existing NCP

       Yes. The presumptive remedy approach is
       consistent with all of the requirements of the NCP,
       and in particular the site management principle of
       streamlining (see section 300.430(a)(l)(n)(C)). The
       presumptive remedy approach simply consolidates
       what have become the common, expected results of
       site-specific decision making at Superfund sites
       over the past decade.  The  various presumptive
       remedies directives and supporting documentation
       (e.g., "Feasibility Study Analysis for CERCLA
       Sites with Volatile Organic Compounds in Soils")
       provide the basis for an administrative record which
       justifies consideration of a very limited number of
       cleanup options. These materials summarize the
       findings of EPA's research and analysis, and the
       reasons that were found for generally considering
       certain technologies more or less appropriate.

       The availability of presumptive remedies does not
       preclude a Region from expanding the FS (either
       on its own initiative or at the suggestion of outside
       parties)  to consider other technologies under unusual
       site-specific circumstances. The site type directives
       will define the kind of circumstances  (e.g., soil
       conditions, heterogeneous and complicated
       contamination mixtures, field tests demonstrating
       significant advantages  of alternate or innovative
       technologies,  etc.) that may make  presumptive
       remedies less clearly suited for particular sites.
       Most of these directives also provide references to
       additional technologies if the presumptive remedies
       are found not to apply at a particular site.

Q4.    How  Did the  Presumptive  Remedies
       Initiative Evolve?

 A.     The general concept of presumptive remedies was
        first proposed in 1990 during the Superfund 90-
        Day Study and subsequently in 1991 during the
        30-Day Study as a method of accelerating the
        remedial process.   These management studies
        were efforts to generate options for accelerating
        the overall Superfund clean-up process. The
        presumptive remedies initiative is also  consistent
        with, and supports, a larger program initiative
        known as the Superfund Accelerated Cleanup
  1 It is envisioned that for most categories of sites, teams of experts (technical, legal, policy, etc.) who have developed the
    presumptive remedies guidance and Regional site managers conducting field demonstrations, will be  available to assist site
    managers in implementing presumptive remedies on a site-specific basis.

                                                     Table 1
                              Current Presumptive Remedies and Contacts
Site Type/Schedule
General Policy and Procedures
Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOCs) in Soils
Wood Treaters
Municipal Landfills
Contaminated Ground Water
Region 7 Pilots -
PCB Sites, Coal Gas Sites,
Grain Storage Sites (6/94)
Presumptive Remedy(ies)
Soil Vapor Extraction, Thermal
Desorption, Incineration
For Organics -
Incineration, Bioremediation,
For Inorganics -
Containment (could include
capping, leachate collection
and treatment, LF gas
treatment, institutional
controls, etc.)
Pump and Treat
(Will specify preferred
treatment technologies &
describe overall approach)
Anticipated Products
Presumptive Remedies:
Policy and Procedures
Presumptive Remedies: Site
Characterization and
Technology Selection for
CERCLA Sites with VOCs in
Presumptive Remedy: Wood
Treating Sites
Technology Selection Guide for
Wood Treater Sites (5/93)
Presumptive Remedy for
CERCLA Municipal Landfill Sites
EPA Contact
Shahid Mahmud
Headquarters, HSCD
(703) 603-8789
Shahid Mahmud
Headquarters, HSCD
(703) 603-8789
Lisa Boynton
Headquarters, ERD
(703) 603-9052
Harry Allen
Emergency Response Division
Andrea McLaughlin
Headquarters, HSCD
(703) 603-8793
Ken Lovelace
Headquarters, HSCD
(703) 603-8787
Diana Engeman
Region 7
TBD - To Be Determined
NA - Not Applicable
Model (SACM).  SACM incorporates theexperience
gained from past Superfund actions into an integrated
approach to site cleanup aimed at getting response
action decisions made and implemented more quidkly.
The presumptive remedies initiative is one mechanism
for accomplishing the broad sreamlining goal set fort
by SACM.  The presemptive remedies initiative was
also  identifies as  one   of the  Adminsitrative
Improvements to Superfund in June of 1993.

What Other Presumptive Remedy Initiatives are
Underway or Planned?

There are a variety of presumptive remedy activities
currently planned or underway.  Table 1 lists the site
types with  the  anticipated schedule of  associated
presumptive remedy  products that are   currently
underway along with the Headquarters and Regional
contacts.   There  are  four  site  types  for  which
        presumptive remedies are being developed in EPA
        Headquarters:   VOCs,  wood  treaters,  municipal
        landfills,  and  contaminated  ground-water   sites.
        Concurrently,  Region  7 is  preparing presumptive
        remedy guidances for PCB, coal gasification, and grain
        storage sites.

Q6.     How Will Presumptive Remedies Affect the Remedy
        Secection Process?

A.      Presumptive remedies are anticipated to affect seSveral
        phases of the ccurrent remedy  selection process. A
        diagram depicting the generic impacts on the overall
        process is provded in Table 2.

        Data   collection   during   the   initial    site
        assessment(Preliminary  Assessment/Site Inspection

                     Table 2
Generic Effect of Presumptive Remedies
Phases of Cleanup Process
PA/SI or Removal Site Evaluation
 Collect and analyze existing data
 Identify initial project/OUs and
remedial action objectives
 Identify range of likely alternatives
 Identify potential ARARs
 Identify initial DQOs
 Prepare project plans
Remedial Investigation
 Conduct field investigation
 Define nature and extent of
 Identify ARARs
 Conduct baseline risk assessment
Remedy Selection
 Identify potential treatment
technologies and
containment/disposal requirements
 Screen technologies
 Assemble technologies into
 Screen alternatives as necessary to
reduce number subject to detailed
 Further refine alternatives as
 Analyze alternatives against the nine
criteria and each other
Proposed Plan
Record of Decision
Remedial Design
Effect on


remaining alternatives to be limited to variations of
the presumptive remedy). The site-specific directive
and supporting documentation (e.g., "Feasibility
Study Analysis for CERCLA Municipal Landfill
Sites") along with this directive then can be placed
in the administrative record for the site to support
the elimination of the screening step identified in
section  300.430 (e) (1)  of the  NCP. Further
supporting materials can be  provided  by
Headquarters (e.g., FS reports included in the
analysis, technical reports), as needed. The specific
presumptive remedy directives address the process
of eliminating the alternatives development  and
screening step of the RI/FS or EE/CA in further
detail. The  directives  also provide  generic
discussion of a partial nine criteria analysis
(excluding state ARARs and community and state
acceptance) and may help streamline the detailed
analysis of alternatives within the  FS and EE/CA
reports. However, the user is cautioned that the
criteria are  discussed on a general basis and the nine
criteria analysis should be  supplemented to reflect
the site-specific conditions.

The Proposed Plan (PP) and subsequent ROD
would be similarly streamlined by focusing only on
the presumptive remedy(ies). The remedial design
(RD) may be  streamlined since some RD data  will
likely have been collected previously  during the
site assessment and RI.

How Will Presumptive  Remedies Affect
the  Removal Process?

Non-time critical removal actions are anticipated
to be used more often to accomplish early actions
at Superfund sites under SACM. The presumptive
remedies approach will focus the  data collection
during the removal site evaluation and reduce the
number of technologies identified and analyzed in
the EE/CA. Presumptive remedies are not expected
to have an impact on emergency and time-critical
actions under the removal  program.

What   are  the   Implications  of
Presumptive Remedies for Innovative

The NCP in section 300.430 (a) (1) (iii) (E) states
that "EPA expects to consider using innovative
technology when  such technology offers  the
potential for comparable or superior treatment
performance and implementability,  fewer or lesser
adverse impacts than other available approaches,
or lower costs for similar levels of performance
       than demonstrated technologies." The use of the
       presumptive remedies may tend to reduce the
       frequency of the full evaluation of innovative
       technologies. However, as indicated previously,
       the presumptive remedies provide a tool for
       streamlining the remedy selection process. They
       do not preclude the consideration of innovative
       technologies should  the technologies be
       demonstrated to be  as effective or superior to the
       presumptive remedies.  Innovative  technologies
       may be evaluated and recommended in addition to
       the presumptive remedies where these criteria are

       EPA encourages review of the latest Innovative
       Technologies Semi-Annual Reports or Engineering
       Bulletins for the up-to-date information on the
       potential effectiveness and applicability of various
       innovative technologies. Site managers are strongly
       encouraged to involve the site-type expert team
       (see Question 13) to determine whether unusual
       circumstances exist  to consider a  non-presumptive
       remedy based on site-specific conditions and/or
       community,  state,  and PRP concerns, or the
       availability of a potentially promising innovative

Q9.    How Will Presumptive Remedies Affect
       Risk Assessments?

A.     Generally, the role of baseline risk assessments
       under the presumptive remedy approach would be
       unaffected with Municipal Landfill  sites being a
       notable exception.    It is anticipated that risk
       assessments would still be needed  on a site-specific
       basis to assist site  managers in  determining the
       need for a response action. EPA managers have
       indicated the value of the risk assessment in
       communicating with states, PRPs, and local
       communities about the nature and extent of health
       and environmental threats.  Therefore,  it is
       recommended that the current  risk assessment
       process be continued on an individual site basis
       except for Municipal Landfills. The  site manager
       should refer  to the EPA Directive entitled
       "Presumptive Remedy for CERCLA Municipal
       Landfill Sites," Directive No. 9355.0-49FS to
       identify streamlining opportunities at Municipal
       Landfill sites.

       Guidance  on developing risk-based  preliminary
       remediation goals (PRGs) would be unaffected
       under this initiative. These goals are needed for
       individual sites especially in the absence of ARARs
       to assist in determining which remedial options

       will  result  in  medium-specific  chemical
       concentrations that are protective of human health.
       For example, there may be several candidate
       presumptive remedies identified in the site-type
       directives.  But it is the extent and degree of
       contamination across a given site that will determine
       whether a technology, which is predicted to reduce
       a chemical's concentration to some specified level,
       will be adequate by itself to produce protective
       concentrations following remedial  action. For
       some sites or site locations, because of the magnitude
       of contamination or co-occurrence of contaminants,
       it may be necessary to assemble several technologies
       into a treatment train to adequately reduce levels of
       all chemicals of concern in a medium to protective
       levels.  In other cases, it may be necessary to
       evaluate the  use of institutional  and/or engineering
       controls on an area following remediation to ensure
       protection during subsequent land use.  In other
       words, it is not reasonable to assume that because
       a specific technology resulted  in "protection" at
       one site, it will result in protective levels at all sites.
       A determination that the selected remedy will result
       in protection of human health and the environment
       must be made for each site. Both ARARs and risk-
       based PRGs are important tools in this exercise.

       Generally, presumptive remedy directives  will
       specify those  technologies  that   have  been
       determined to achieve levels protective of human
       health and the environment under a variety of site
       conditions.  However, because all sites differ to
       some  extent,  especially in  their  relation to
       surrounding  communities and sensitive ecosystems,
       a determination must still be made on a site-specific
       basis as to how a given remedy  design is expected
       to  achieve  "protectiveness"  during  remedy
       construction  and following remedial action. Overall
       protection of human health and  the environment is
       one of two  threshold considerations (the other
       being compliance with ARARs) that must be met in
       order for an  alternative to be eligible for selection
       as the remedy for a given site.

Q10.  What  if Outside Parties such  as PRPs
       or  the   Community   Want   Other
       Alternatives  Considered?

A.     The identification of a presumptive remedy does
       not relieve EPA of the obligation to  propose the
       remedy for public comment, or to  respond to
       comments suggesting that other alternatives should
       have been considered.  In  some  cases,  the
       information in the site-type directive and supporting
       documentation may be sufficient to address such
       comments; in others, additional analysis may be
       required to assess the relative merits of an alternative
       technology proposed by a commenter.

       To reduce the risk of delay due to the need to
       respond to such comments, it is generally desirable
       to publicize the planned use of presumptive remedies
       early on, and give States, communities, PRPs, and
       others an early opportunity to express any concerns
       they may have about focusing the FS or EE/CA in
       this way. The agency may then decide whether to
       include  additional alternatives  in the FS or EE/CA
       so that those concerns can be addressed before the
       remedy is proposed.

       In general, it is expected that the directive and
       supporting documents  will provide substantial
       justification for preferring the presumptive remedy
       over alternative technologies.  Therefore, the
       submission  of comments  advocating  other
       approaches does not necessarily require broadening
       of the FS or EE/CA, or conducting additional
       analysis after the plan has been proposed. Whether
       additional documentation is required will depend
       upon how substantial or persuasive the comments
       are (e.g., whether a comment identifies unusual site
       circumstances that seriously call into question the
       applicability of the presumptive remedy). The
       Region will have to assess this by evaluating each
       comment on its own merits.

       It should be noted that even if the FS is broadened
       to consider alternatives  other than the presumptive
       remedy, much of the benefit of the presumptive
       remedy approach can  still be achieved.  In such
       cases, it is not necessary to address the full array of
       possible technologies, rather only the presumptive
       remedy and the specific  alternative(s) that genuinely
       warrant detailed study.  Therefore, the FS  can still
       be narrowed and data gathering can still be focused.

Q11.  How do State ARARs Affect the Use of
       Presumptive  Remedies?

 A.    Any remedy, including presumptive remedies, must
       be selected in accordance with Section  121(d)
       (2)(A)(ii) of the Comprehensive Environmental
       Response, Compensation  and Liability Act

       (CERCLA), which specifies that selected remedial
       actions comply with promulgated  standards under
       Federal and more stringent State environmental
       laws (i.e., State ARARs). At this time it is difficult
       to predict situations where presumptive remedies
       will not comply with State ARARs, and such issues
       must necessarily be addressed on a site-specific
       basis. However, as the presumptive remedies have
       been widely selected, they are likely to be capable
       of meeting State ARARs.

Q12.  What  Are   the   Implications   of
       Presumptive Remedies on  Community,
       PRP, and State Relations?

A.     It will generally be  desirable to notify the
       community, State, and PRP(s) as early in the clean-
       up process as possible that presumptive remedies
       are being considered for the site. This notification
       can take the form of a fact sheet, a notice in the
       newspaper, and/or a public meeting in which the
       site manager (with assistance from the expert team,
       as desired)  explains the rationale for taking such
       actions and  distributes the appropriate directives of
       the site type in question.   Additionally, the site
       manager should explain the  potential benefits
       associated with the use of presumptive remedies
       such as time and cost  savings, and consistency.
       Early discussions  about the  rationale for
       presumptive remedies  should help instill  confidence
       in both the technologies and  remedy selection
Q13.  How Will EPA Communicate Progress
       on  Current  Presumptive  Remedies,
       Newly  Developed  Presumptive
       Remedies, and Future Issues  Related
       to Presumptive Remedies?

A.     Information about presumptive remedies will be
       communicated in several ways.   First, it  is
       anticipated that an orientation will be provided to
       communicate the key elements of presumptive
       remedies to Regional site managers as appropriate.
       This may be followed by periodic meetings with
       expert teams, if necessary, to scope out the
       applications  of presumptive remedies on a site-
       specific basis. The expert team may also be used to
       convey any new  developments on technology  or
       policies and procedures for general or specific
       applications. A quarterly conference call  is also
       anticipated between site managers and the expert
       teams to allow for the exchange of ideas  and  to
       identify and resolve technical issues. Technology
       selection directives, SACM Bulletins,  and Q&A
       directives will  be published  periodically to
       disseminate information on presumptive remedies
       and related issues as they arise.   Finally, the
       presumptive remedies directives on the various site
       categories  will be updated every several years  to
       reflect new technology development and up-to-
       date performance data, as appropriate.

          The policies set out in this document are intended solely as guidance to the U.S. Environmental
          Protection Agency (EPA) personnel; they are not final EPA actions and do not constitute rulemaking.
          These policies are not intended, nor can they be relied upon, to create any rights enforceable by any party
          in  litigation with the United States.  EPA officials may decide to follow the guidance provided in this
          document, or to act at variance with  the guidance, based on an analysis of specific site circumstances.
          EPA also reserves the right to change the guidance at any time without public notice.

United States
Environmental Protection
Washington, D.C. 20460

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use