WASHINGTON, B.C.  20460
                  SEP 30
                                                               OFFICE OF
                                                         SOLID WASTE AND EMERGENCY
                                            OSWER Directive#  9200.4-05


                cy and Remedial Response
Director, Office of Site Remediation and Restoration
 Region I
Director, Emergency and Remedial Response Division
 Region II
Director, Hazardous Waste Management Division
 Regions III, IX
Director, Waste Management Division
Director, Superfund Division
 Regions V, VI, VII
Assistant Regional Administrator,
Office of Ecosystems Protection and Remediation
 Region VIII
Director, Environmental Cleanup Office
 Region X
      The purpose of this directive is to ensure that the Agency's Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) becomes
a more accurate inventory of hazardous substance sites. All sites coming to the Agency's
attention should be screened before CERCLIS entry.  Regions generally should not enter those
sites which are likely to be addressed by states or under Federal authority other than CERCLA,
those for which information on releases is insufficient to substantiate the presence of hazardous
substances, or those for which sufficient information exists to show that risk is low.  In this way,

CERCLIS will become a list of sites which Regions and States/Tribes believe, based on available
data, will require a response using Superfund authorities and resources.


       Since 1990, the Agency's policy for enteimg sites into CERCLIS directs "...all sites
known or suspected to be hazardous substance release sites are to be entered into CERCLIS as
expeditiously as possible" (OSWER Directive #9320.3-0; February 5, 1990).  In accordance
with existing policy, EPA makes every attempt to conduct a Preliminary Assessment (PA)
within one year of CERCLIS site entry; and if the PA results warrant further investigation, the
Agency tries to have a Site Inspection (SI) conducted within four years of entry (See CERCLA
Section 116(b)  and the National Contingency Plan  (NCP) at 40 C.F.R. 300.420(b) and (c)}.
Since 1990, however, various interpretations in the policy have resulted in some sites being
entered into the Agency's hazardous waste site inventory where PA's have shown that no Federal
response action under CERCLA is needed. Both the resource expenditures for assessment and
the perceived stigma of CERCLIS are of concern.

       The intention of this guidance is to minimize the number of sites unnecessarily entered
into CERCLIS by introducing pre-CERCLIS site screening criteria.  These criteria should help
ensure that sites are not unnecessarily entered into CERCLIS. The criteria should also assist in
the identification of other (non-CERCLA) authorities or policies that may apply to the pre-
screened sites as well as additional information needed to determine whether or not the site
should be included in CERCLIS.

       Several pilots are underway regarding pre-CERCLIS screening. Following completion of
these pilots, the Agency may revise this policy or develop additional criteria. This pre-CERCLIS
guidance should be used in the interim until the pilots are completed and analyzed.

       Regions and States should coordinate closely on sites undergoing the pre-screening
process to prevent duplicative evaluations.
       Sites that can be excluded from CERCLIS:

             -those sites addressed by a State Superfund Enforcement Program. EPA will
             normally rely on the State program to oversee response.

             - those sites where hazardous constituents are regulated under certain statutory or
             policy exclusions from CERCLA (e.g., sites subject to corrective action
             authorities under RCRA Subtitle C (See 54 FR 41000 October 4, 1989 and 60 FR

             14641 March 20, 1995), sites permitted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
             (NRC) (See CERCLA Section 101(22)), sites with petroleum wastes excluded by
             CERCLA (See CERCLA Section 101(14) and 101(33) ).

             - those sites identified by a State using insufficient data (e.g. based on potentially
             unreliable sources or with no information to support the potential presence of
             hazardous substances).  Under those circumstances Regions should consult with
             the State and identify the type of data needed (e.g., See Guidance for Performing
             Preliminary Assessments under CERCLA: EPA/540/g-91/013; September 1991}
             to make an informed decision regarding CERCLIS entry.  EPA will rely on the
             States to collect any additional information necessary to determine whether or not
             a site should be included in the CERCLIS site inventory.

             - situations where the region has documentation that clearly demonstrates that
             there is no potential for a release that could cause adverse environmental or
             human health impacts (e.g., hazardous substances are not present at potentially
             harmful levels).

       EPA would make an exception to these screening criteria in cases where the Agency is
notified of a potential site through receipt of a citizen petition. Under CERCLA section 105 (d),
EPA is required by statute to respond within one year to a petition to conduct a PA. Abbreviated
PA's should be conducted where preliminary information indicates that the site does not warrant
further investigation by EPA;

       All other sites that might require cleanup under CERCLA authority should be considered
for CERCLIS entry. As with all sites,  EPA's decision to enter or not enter a site into CERCLIS
should be based on current information. If new information becomes available on a site that was
not entered, EPA will reconsider the decision.

       If you have any questions regarding this guidance, please contact Tim Gill, Olfice of
Emergency and Remedial Response, at (703) 603-8856.
       This policy is not a rule, and does not create-any legal obligations.  The extent to which
EPA applies this policy will depend on the facts of each case.