United States
                   Environmental Protection
                Office of
                Solid Waste and
                Emergency Response
                    TITLE: Capability Assessments for RCRA Authorization
                    Program Revisions        v

                    APPROVAL DATE:  4/8/87

                    EFFECTIVE DATE:  4/8/87

                    ORIGINATING OFFICE:  osw

                    B FINAL

                    D DRAFT
                      CTATliO        [  1  A~ PendinB OMB approval
                      STATUS:           B- Pending AA-OSWER approval
                                        C- For review &/or comment
                                    [  ]  D- In development or circulating

                    REFERENCE (other documents):        headquarters
                    1. State Capability Assessment Guidance (6/26/84)
                    2. Additional Guidance on RCRA State Capability Assessments
  OS WE Ft        OS WE Ft        OSWER

                                oiciicS cnvironmeniai r roicciion Mycncy
                                   Washington, DC 20460
                  OSWER Directive Initiation Request
                                    1. .Directive Number

                                  2. Originator Information
      Name of Contact Person
       Lillian Bagus
     Mail Code
Telephone Code
      3. Title
           Capability Assessment for RCRA Authorization Program Revisions
      4. Summary of Directive (include brief statement of purpose)
      3SWER has refined the approach initially used to develop capability assessments to
      ensure  quality reviews of State hazardous waste programs for authorization.  The
      subject document provides guidance on  this approach.
      5. Keywords
      Authorization/HSWA/Capability Assessments
      oa. Does i nis uirective Supersede rrevious uirective(s) >.
      b. Does It Supplement Previous Directive(s)?
                      Yes   What directive (number, title)
                      Yes   What directive (number, title)
      7. Draft Level
B -- Signed by Office Director
       C - For Review & Comment
         D - In Development
8. Document to be distributed to States by Headquarters?


This Request Meets OSWER Directives System Format Standards.
9. Signature of Lead Office Directives Coordinator
10. Name and Title of Approving Official
      EPA Form 1315-17 (Rev. 5-87) Previous editions are obsolete.
   OSWER           OSWER               OSWER               O

  uj^                                       9540.00-8
•  ^^ ''**
     ' f                     WASHINGTON. O.C. 20150
                             APR  81967
                                                           _'• V r 'r .' . •
                                                  SOL:-:: //Airs -. ••:.) ;\v ;.-•.•: •••. :v RESPONSE
    SUBJECT:   Capability Assessments for RCRA Authorization
              Program Revisions
                 ''      t~ ' '2-~
                ' x-_ /  -y&~.
    FROM:  .    J. "Winston Porter,  Assistant Administrator
              Solid Waste and  Emergency Response (WH-562B)

    TO:        Regional Administrators
              Regions I-X

         State performance and capability will continue to  be important
    considerations  as we begin to make authorization decisions on State
    program  revisions for the  HSWA requirements.  Capability assessments
    provide  EPA with a continuing mechanism to identify areas of State
    programs  that warrant enhancement and to establish the  EPA and
    State  actions necessary to strengthen the programs.  This assessment
    should tell us  not only whether a State is effectively  implementing
    the  base  program but also  how that State may implement  additional
    program  areas.   In general,  States should demonstrate the ability
    to capably implement the base RCRA program as well as the addi-
    tional elements of HSWA for  which they are seeking authorization.
    The  assessment  should reflect an evaluation of the State's entire
    authorized program,  not just the activities funded by EPA.  For
    instance,  an  evaluation of a State's capability to implement an
    adequate  enforcement program is to be based on a review of
    enforcement activities at  all significant non-compliers.

        A capability assessment must be prepared in connection with
    an application  for State authorization for HSWA provisions that
    significantly impact the State's workload.  This category includes
    those  applications covering  all or most of the July 15, 1985,
    codification  rule provisions or any application that includes
    corrective action.  It would not include a State application that
    addresses only  the §3006(f)  availability of information requirements
    nor  in most situations an  application for additional waste listings.
    It is  difficult to develop a comprehensive list of those provisions
    for  which an  assessment is or is not needed because some provisions
    which  do  not  warrant an assessment if applied for singly may need
    an assessment if their combined workload is significant.  As you
    review your State authorization schedules, your staff should consult


with OSW/OWPE staff before determining that an assessment is not

     OSWER has refined the approach initially used to develop
capability assessments to ensure quality reviews of State
hazardous waste programs while minimizing the burden of con-
ducting comprehensive assessments.   This memorandum,  with the
attached checklist and instructions, provides guidance on this

     The attached checklist lists the grant commitments and Quality
Criteria elements for which State performance should be evaluated.
A State will be viewed as having a  satisfactory base program if  it
satisfies the checklist items without substantial dependence on
the Region for any part of the authorized portion of the program.
In evaluating dependence, it is recognized and accepted that con-
tinuing assistance from the Regions is appropriate in administering
a complex program.  "Substantial dependence" will be a subjective
evaluation that properly takes all  factors into account.  While
EPA is- responsible for overseeing State programs and providing
assistance and support, a State must be capable of managing its
authorized program without substantial dependence on the Region.

     No additional narrative is necessary if the Region submits
current documentation that explains why the performance is satis-
factory.  The checklist should be completed based on available
information such as existing State  program evaluations (quarterly,
mid-year, end-of-year), monthly State reports, tracking of items
detailed in the MOA and any other State/EPA agreement, and day-
to-day contact with the State.

     For States that generally do not operate their authorized
program in a satisfactory manner, the Region and State, in con-
sultation with OSW/OWPE staff, will agree on an action plan to
correct problems identified in the  capability assessment.  We
suggest that until these problems are corrected, the Region delay
any authorization decision.  Any delay should be minor for States
needing short-term improvements (e.g., timely submission of reports)
However, where States face significant problems (e.g., inability
to draft land disposal permits or to correctly complete more com-
plicated inspections), they should  focus their efforts toward
upgrading their program and properly administering those elements
of the program for which they are presently authorized rather than
applying for authorization.  Should such States persist in applying
for authorization of additional program elements, the Region will
need to prepare an action plan (in consultation with Headquarters)
that explicitly identifies what the State must do to qualify for


                            - 3 -
     OSW and OWPE staff will be available to review and comment
on proposed action plans to ensure that all areas of concern
are identified at an early stage.  Before an action plan is
finally negotiated with a State,  the Region and Headquarters
should agree on acceptable performance levels and schedules
for the problems identified.  Regardless of whether short or
long-term improvements are needed, the time required to complete
a comprehensive capability assessment and to demonstrate the
necessary improvements to the State program should be factored
into the Region's schedule for authorizing the State.  In some
instances, a State may not have completed all items identified
in the action plan,  such as ongoing staff training, but will be
on a schedule to complete these items.  However,  in general, a
State should complete all items in its action plan before
receiving authorization.

     I would like to reiterate that our purpose in continuing
to conduct capability assessments is to ensure that States are
fully capable of assuming the new responsibilities before we
authorize them and not to prevent or hinder States from
obtaining authorization for additional elements of RCRA.


cc:  Waste Management Division Directors, Regions I-X
     RCRA Branch Chiefs, Regions I-X
     Marcia Williams
     Gene Lucero
     State Programs  Branch, OSW
     Implementation and Compliance Branch, OWPE

Instructions and Checklist  for HSWA Capability Assessments

                Instructions for Completing HSWA
                Capability Assessment Checklist
The "satisfactory" or "needs improvement" column should be
checked for each item or "N/A" filled in per the instructions
below (see Enforcement,  No. 2; Permits and Closure Plans,
Nos. 1 and 2; and Corrective Action).  "Satisfactory" indicates
the State operated the authorized program without substantial
dependence on the Region, including fully meeting grant
commitments and Quality Criteria elements.  If the Region
judges that a lesser level of performance is satisfactory,
the reason should be explained.  "Needs improvement" means
some level of improvement is needed; short-term corrective
steps may not delay authorization (see transmittal memo from
J. Winston Porter).

The numbers below correspond to the numbers on the checklist.


1.  State has multi-year compliance monitoring strategy:  The
    State multi-year compliance monitoring strategy may be
    a separate document or may be incorporated into the MOA
    or other State-EPA agreement.  To meet the satisfactory
    standard, the State must meet the Criteria found under
    Key Questions 1, 2,  and 6 under Enforcement Program
    Criteria on pages 8, 9, 10, and 14 of the Quality Criteria.

2.  State undertakes inspections:  This includes "satisfactory"
    performance as defined above.  If no grant commitments
    were negotiated for a particular itea, mark N/A for not
    applicable.  Satisfactory should be marked only when the
    State has met the initial grant commitments; or when grant
    commitments have been renegotiated during the fiscal year
   .and the Region justifies the new numbers and any satis-
    factory rating in writing.

    Verifications:  For high priority violations, an inspection,
    record review, or other verification must be performed
    within 30 days of the final compliance date and return
    to compliance .confirmed.

3.  Files are maintained and readily accessible:  Case
    development/case referral files must be comprehensive,
    well documented, and current to ensure that enforcement
    actions are timely and that all available evidence is
    accurately identified.  A review of the files, together
    with Regional oversight of State inspections, should
    demonstrate the quality of inspections.

4.  For HPVs, formal complaint issued or case referred within
    90 days:  A.formal complaint is to be issued within 90
    days after violation discovery by those States with
    administrative penalty authority.  A case is to be
    referred" within 90 days after violation discovery by
    those States with no administrative penalty authority.

    For Class I violations,- Quality Criteria timeframes are
    followed:  To meet the satisfactory standard, a State must
    meet the Criteria found under Key Question 4.B. (Enforce-
    ment Program Criteria on pages 12 and 13 of the Quality

    Penalties are assassed appropriately:  Penalties are
    assessed in accordance with the Enforcement Response Policy.

5.  State follows lata and incomplete Part B policy:  A late
    incomplete, or inadequate Part B application is a Class I
    violation.  As such,  no more than two NOD's should be issued
    before assessing a penalty.  The penalty assessed should be
    in accordance with the Civil Penalty Policy for all Part 270
    and contributing Part 265 violations.  If the owner/operator
    fails to comply by the date specified, the State should
    initiate termination of interim status by issuing a notice
    of intent to deny the permit.

Permits and Closure Plans

1-2.State meets permit grant commitments; State meets closure
    grant commitments:  See Instruction No. 2 under Enforcement.

3.  Permit/closure plan quality:  OSW has developed permit
    and closure/post-closure plan quality review documents.
    These documents should be used to determine the quality
    of a representative sample of permits issued and closure/
    post-closure plans approved by the State before making a
    judgment regarding a State's rating in this area.

Corrective Action

    This section need be completed only when a State is
    seeking authorization for the corrective action portion
    of HSWA authorization.  States are likely to have the
    least amount of experience in this area.  However, where
    States 'have had experience with corrective action, eith₯r
    under a cooperative agreement or under State authorities,
    their performance should be evaluated.  For the five
    elements listed under the corrective action section,
    rate the elements for which a State has had some experience.
    For those elements for which a State has had no experience,
    mark "N/A" for "not applicable".  States which have no
    experience in corrective action will not be prohibited
    from receiving authorization for HSWA corrective action.

    However, States are encouraged to develop experience
    with corrective action under a cooperative agreement.
    This section is based on draft corrective action guidances
    When these guidances are finalized, this section will  be
    Facility management planning:  To complete this section,
    refer to Key Questions 1 through 4 under Goal #3, Manage-
    ment Criteria,, on pages 27 and 28 of the Quality Criteria.
    It should be noted that enforcement and permitting actions
    include closures and corrective action.

                   Capability Assessments for HSWA Authorities

1.   State has multi-year compliance nonitoring strategy.*
                                                                       Needs Im-
2.   State undertakes inspections.*

     0 CEI inspections (land disposal, treatment,  storage)

     0 CME inspections

     0 Inspection of TSDF's receiving CERCLA wastes

     0 Closing facilities inspections

     0 Generator/ transporter inspections

     0 Verifications*

     0 Record reviews

3.   Inspection and record reviews are thorough and
     properly documented.

     0 Inspection checklists are complete and accurate

     0 Violations are well documented

     0 Files are maintained and readily accessible*

     0 CME's are conducted in accordance with TEED

     0 State properly classifies violations  •-

4.   State takes timely and appropriate enforcement action.

     0 For HPV's, including SNCs, formal complaint, issued
       or case referred within 90 days*

     0 For Class I violations, Quality Criteria time frames
       are followed*

     0 Penalties are assessed appropriately*

     0 Enforcement actions specify remedies and dates for

 5.  State follows late and incomplete Part B policy.*

* see instructions

- 2 -
                            PERMITS AND CLOSURE PLANS

1.   State meets permit grant comnitments:*

     0 Land Disposal.

          - carpieteness/technical reviews

          - draft permit/publie notices                ;

          - final determinations

     0 Incinerators

          - completeness/technical revise

          - draft permit/public notices

          - final determinations

     0 Storage

          - completeness/technical reviews

          - draft permit/publie notices

        .  - final determinations


2.   State meets closure grant commitments:*

     0 Land disposal

          - technical reviews

          - public notices

          - plan approvals

     0 Incinerators

          - technical reviews

          - public notices

          - plan approvals

     0 Storage.

          - technical reviews

          - public notices

          - plan approvals

* see instructions
                       Satis-    Needs Im-
                       factory   provement


                                      - 3 -
                      PERMITS AND CLOSURE PLANS (continued)

3.   Permit/Closure plan quality*

     0 All regulatory requirements are addressed

     0 Documents are technically sound

     0 Documents are enforceable

4.   Public participation

     0 State follows public participation requirements in
       processing permits and closure plans

     0 State meets grant commitments for public involvement.
Satis-    Needs Im-
factory   provement
                                CORRECTIVE ACTION*
1.   State ensures that RFA's and RFI's identify and
     evaluate all SWMU's and known/likely releases.

2.   State ensures that. RFA recommendations for RFI, interim
     measures or corrective action are adequately documented
     to support permit or compliance order conditions.
3.   State ensures that RFI and corrective measures plans
     are technically sufficient and contain enforceable
     schedules of compliance.
     State monitors approved RFI and corrective measures
     State ensures that corrective measu-es plans specify
     the expected results and how these will be measured.
                                                             Satis-    Needs Im-
                                                             factory   provement
* see instructions

                                      - 4 -

1.   Resources, staffing and data management:

     0 Resources utilized in accordance with grant

     0 Staff adequately trained,  appropriate skill  mix

     0 State effectively utilizes information/data  system
       in support of their program; system provides timely
       and accurate permit, enforcement, closure and
       corrective action information

     0 State provides quality, timely information for HWDMS

2.   Reporting:

     0 State informs EPA of program changes

     0 State meets MQA/grant commitments for reporting,
       program coordination, etc.

3.   Facility Management Planning:*

     0 State has a process for planning and coordinating
       enforcement and permitting actions at all
       environmentally significant facilities

     0 State has developed and is implementing a multi-
       year strategy that addresses how the responsible
       agency (ies) plan to permit and/or bring all  TSDF's
       into compliance with applicable regulations
Satis-    Needs Im-
factory   provement
* see instructions