EPA530-R-03-012
                            September 2003
f'EPA Results-Based
      Approaches and
      Tailored Oversight
      Guidance
      for Facilities Subject to Corrective Action Under
      Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and
      Recovery Act

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                                     Table of Contents
I.      Background
       Why did EPA write this guidance?	  1
       Who should use this guidance?	  1

II.      Results-Based Approaches for RCRA Corrective Action                            2

       What do we mean by "results-based approaches" for RCRA Corrective Action?	  2
       What are the benefits of results-based corrective action?	  3
       What are EPA's expected program results? 	  3
       What are some approaches to Results-based corrective action?	  3
       Results-based Approaches We recommend considering at all Corrective Action facilities  ...   .4
III.    Tailored Oversight  	  7

       What is tailored oversight?	  7
       What are the benefits of tailored oversight?	  7
       Does tailored oversight result in less protective cleanups?	  7
       How does a regulator use tailored oversight?	  8
       How does EPA recommend results-based corrective action objectives be established under
               tailored oversight approaches?	  9
       What are some examples of situations where a regulator could tailor his/her oversight?         9
       How does tailored oversight affect formal reporting?	  10
       Does tailored oversight mean reduced data quality?	  11
       Does tailored oversight mean less communication between the facility and the regulator?  ....  11
       What general activities occur during a cleanup that EPA recommends a regulator discuss with a
               facility before, during, and after developing a tailored oversight plan?  	  11
       Can tailored oversight lead to resource savings?  	  12
       How does tailored oversight ensure public involvement?  	  12
       How will the regulatory agency use enforcement under tailored oversight approaches?	 13
       What are some examples of activities facilities can conduct under a tailored
                oversight approach?  	  13
       Once a regulator develops a tailored oversight plan for a facility, what goals and
               milestones does EPA recommend regulators require them to use to measure progress?  14

IV.     Conclusion 	  14

V.     Contacts	  15

VI.    References 	  15

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I.  Background
Why did EPA write this guidance?

    In its ongoing effort to improve the RCRA Corrective Action Program1, EPA, with the
assistance of interested stakeholders, identified several improvements to increase the efficiency
and cost-effectiveness of facility cleanups. One of those improvements, as outlined under the
RCRA Cleanup Reforms announcement (EPA, 1999), was to issue guidance on results-based2
approaches that emphasizes the importance of outcomes and eliminating unnecessary procedural
steps. This guidance document provides an overview (Section II) of specific results-based
approaches regulators and facility owners and operators can use to improve cleanups of
hazardous waste facilities. This guidance also describes the benefits of "tailoring" regulatory
oversight (Section III) of RCRA cleanups      	
and specific recommendations with respect
to the level of oversight that might be
appropriate in a given situation.
    EPA also wrote this guidance because
we believe greater use of results-based
approaches will help us achieve our short-
term goals established in response to the
Government Performance and Results Act
(GPRA - see Highlight Box), as well as our
long-term goals associated with facility-
wide cleanups.

Who should use this guidance?
  RCRA Corrective Action GPRA Goals

The GPRA goals for the RCRA corrective action
program are that, by 2005, EPA and authorized
states will have verified that 95% of 1,714 RCRA
GPRA Cleanup Baseline facilities have met the
Current Human Exposures Under Control
environmental indicator and that 70% of baseline
facilities have met the Migration of Contaminated
Groundwater Under Control environmental
indicator.

For more information regarding the RCRA
Cleanup Baseline, refer to
   : //www                          ity    .
For more information concerning environmental
indicators, refer to
http://ww\\'.epa.gov/correctiveaction/eis.htm.
    We wrote this guidance to help State
and EPA regulators, owners and operators
of facilities subject to RCRA corrective
action, and members of the public better
understand EPA's results-based strategy
for  RCRA corrective action.  Throughout the rest of this guidance, we will refer to these three
       1 Activities at permitted and/or interim status facilities that treat, store or dispose of hazardous wastes (TSD
facilities) have sometimes resulted in releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents into soil, groundwater,
surface water, sediments, or air. The RCRA Corrective Action Program requires such facilities to conduct
investigations and cleanup actions as necessary to protect human health and the environment.  See, e.g., RCRA
Sections 3004(u)(v), and 3008(h) and 40 C.F.R. Section 264.101.

       2 Results-based approaches was a fundamental message of the 1996 Advanced Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (ANPR; EPA, 1996) which the Agency still views as key operating guidance for the RCRA Corrective
Action Program.

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groups as regulators, facilities, and the public, respectively.  Sometimes, we will refer to all three
groups collectively as "stakeholders."

   This document provides guidance to EPA Regional and State corrective action authorities, as
well as to facility owners or operators, and the general public on how EPA intends to exercise its
discretion in implementing the statutory and regulatory provisions that concern RCRA corrective
action. The RCRA statutory provisions and EPA regulations described in this document contain
legally binding requirements. This document does not substitute for those provisions or
regulations, nor is it a regulation itself.  Thus, it does not impose legally-binding requirements on
EPA, States, or the regulated community, and may not apply to a particular situation based upon
the circumstances.  EPA and State decisionmakers retain the discretion to adopt approaches on a
case-by-case basis that differ from this guidance where appropriate. Any decisions regarding a
particular facility will be made based on the applicable statutes and regulations.  Therefore,
interested parties are free to raise questions and objections about the substance of this guidance,
and the appropriateness of the application of this guidance to a particular situation.  EPA will
consider whether or not the recommendations or interpretations in the guidance are appropriate
in that situation.

II.  Results-Based Approaches for RCRA Corrective Action

What do we mean by "results-based approaches" for RCRA Corrective Action?

   The purpose  of the Corrective Action program is to address releases of hazardous waste and
hazardous constituents at RCRA facilities in a timely and protective manner. Results-based
approaches emphasize outcomes, or results, in cleaning up releases, and strive to tailor process
requirements to the characteristics of the specific corrective action. Results-based approaches
involve, where appropriate, setting goals, providing procedural flexibility in how goals are met,
inviting innovative technical approaches, focusing data collections, and letting owner/operators
undertake cleanup action with reduced Agency oversight.  Under such approaches, facilities are
held fully accountable for the results they agree to achieve.

   EPA's results-based strategy conveyed in this guidance provides a recommended framework
for RCRA program implementors to run programs that effectively use available corrective action
cleanup tools and private party and regulatory agency resources to  address environmental
problems. We recommend regulators weigh the facility-specific circumstances, including the
cooperativeness  and technical capability of the facilities, in deciding the specific approaches to
be taken at a given facility.
What are the benefits of results-based corrective action?

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• • Encourages regulators and facilities to design approaches and processes that are appropriate
    for their particular facilities;
• • Generally achieves faster environmental results;
• • Provides opportunities for resource savings to both the facility and regulatory agency; and
• • Maximizes efficiency of a cleanup

What are EPA's expected program results?

    The overarching goal of the corrective action program is to clean up contaminated facilities
as necessary to protect human health and the environment.

    In the short-term, the corrective action program generally focuses on preventing
unacceptable exposures to humans and prevent the further migration of contaminated
groundwater.  To ensure long-term protection, EPA recommends that regulators and facilities
use the following threshold criteria as general goals for final cleanups and as screening tools for
potential remedies:

1.  Achieve media cleanup objectives3; and
2.  Control the source(s) of release so as to reduce or eliminate, to the extent practicable, further
    releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents that may pose a threat to human
    health and the environment.

    Protecting human health and the environment is the mandate of the RCRA statute and
regulations; therefore, it is  appropriate that remedies should meet the criteria outlined above as a
means to demonstrate progress toward achieving the overall  mandate to protect human health
and the environment.

  For further information with regards to RCRA guidance documents,  Section VI has a listing
of specific reference documents which are available on-line.

What are some approaches to results-based corrective action?

    Below are brief descriptions of five core results-based approaches that we recommend
facilities and regulators consider at any corrective action site to promote results-based corrective
action. Also described are four supplemental results-based approaches that  may expedite
cleanups.  Because they are more dependent on the presence of specific site factors, the
supplemental approaches are not expected to be applicable as often as the core approaches.
Section III of this document provides more detailed guidance on "Tailored Oversight" because
we believe this concept is generally a very effective approach to expediting  cleanups and
ensuring that facilities achieve cleanup goals.  We recommend that any tailored oversight
approach chosen be consistent with any permit, order or other enforceable mechanism that
       3 Media cleanup objectives for final remedies typically includes the more specific concepts of media
cleanup levels, points of compliance, and cleanup time frames. In previous guidance (EPA, 1996a - page 19449),
EPA referred to media cleanup objectives as media cleanup standards; we now use media cleanup objectives to
avoid confusion over the term "standard" that is often associated just with numeric values.

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applies to a facility.
Results-Based Approaches We Recommend Considering at All Corrective Action Facilities

Tailored oversight - Oversight, in general, is the responsibility of the lead regulator4 to ensure
the facility implements corrective action. Tailored oversight is an oversight plan developed
based on facility-specific conditions such as site complexity, compliance history, and financial
and technical capability of the facility.  In addition to discussing and using results-based
approaches with facilities, we recommend regulators evaluate the facility-specific conditions and
develop  a plan with an appropriate level of oversight that will enhance timely, efficient, and
protective cleanups. Tailored oversight may result in the elimination of administrative or
technical steps, usually for facilities who have agreed to, and have demonstrated that they are
capable of,  meeting the environmental objectives and specific requirements established for their
facility.  In some instances, an analysis of facility capabilities may result in greater oversight to
ensure environmental results are achieved in a timely manner.

Holistic Approach - The 1996 ANPR states, "In general, EPA believes that a holistic approach
to corrective action, could increase cleanup efficiency and reduce transaction costs." (61 FR
19432, May 1, 1996, 19456). The term "holistic" in this context means taking a "big picture"
look so facility representatives and regulators can prioritize their resources based on risk5 to
human health  and the environment.  For example, in a situation where there are many on-site
sources of contamination contributing to an off-site plume of contaminated groundwater, a
holistic approach could first focus on identifying and controlling, in the near-term, current risks
to humans from the site as a whole.  Subsequent to controlling these  risks, the facility could then
conduct  additional  focused investigations to help evaluate additional cleanup activities needed to
achieve other  short- and long-term cleanup objectives associated with individual sources. EPA
believes that viewing corrective action sites holistically is particularly appropriate to help meet
Environmental Indicator goals.  Ultimately, the facility would still be responsible for meeting
final remedy corrective action goals.

Procedural flexibility - Regulators and facilities place their primary focus on environmental
results and ensure that each corrective action-related activity at a given facility directly supports
cleanup goals at that site. Corrective action is generally structured around  seven elements
common to most cleanups: initial facility assessment, site characterization, short-term (interim)
actions, remedy evaluation and selection, remedy implementation, remedy  completion and public
participation.  EPA emphasizes that no individual results-based approach that implements these
       4 A "lead regulator" is typically the first-line staff person for the government authority that is responsible
for ensuring that a facility implements corrective action as necessary to meet facility-specific corrective action goals.
The lead regulator, could depending on the circumstances, either be a federal employee working in an EPA regional
office or an employee of a particular State or Territory (EPA, 2001).

       5  "Risk-based decision making is especially important in the corrective action program, where it should be
used to ensure that corrective action activities are fully protective given reasonable exposure assumptions and
consistent with the degree of threat to human health and the environment at a given facility." (EPA, 1996; page
19441)

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cleanup elements is likely to be appropriate for all corrective action facilities.  EPA continues to
encourage regulators and facilities to focus on the desired result of cleanup rather than a
predetermined (or "generic") step-by-step cleanup process that does not reflect site-specific
circumstances.  We recommend these seven elements be viewed as  evaluations generally
necessary to make good cleanup decisions. By focusing on results,  regulators are encouraged to
use the most effective approaches for facility management and oversight.

Performance Standards  - The regulator, working (as appropriate)  with the facility, develops
general performance standards to prescribe the scientific, technical, and administrative
requirements the facility must fulfill in order to implement and ultimately complete corrective
action. Under this approach, it is anticipated that the facility, not the regulator, is responsible for
determining the methods by which the performance standards  are attained, e.g.,  designing a
remedy that will meet the  required performance standard.  That is, the regulator establishes clear,
reasonable, and protective performance standards, while the facility (with an appropriate level of
regulatory oversight) determines how those standards are met.

Targeted (or Focused) Data Collection - As described in the 1996 ANPR, there are a variety of
results-based approaches that regulators and facilities might use to focus data gathering efforts to
identify and implement appropriate responses at a corrective action  facility. For example, EPA
encourages facilities and regulators to develop and use a conceptual site model6 (CSM) to
identify and prioritize data needs based  on a particular corrective action goal.  Additionally,
facilities might dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of data collection by taking
advantage of numerous innovative site characterization  techniques.7 Also, EPA recommends
using data quality objectives8 (DQOs) to identify  the amount, type,  and quality of data needed to
support corrective action decisions (EPA, 1994; page 19445).

Supplemental  Results-Based Approaches

Presumptive Remedies - As EPA worked through hundreds of individual cleanups, the
Superfund program found that similar remedies were successfully used to address many similar
sites. This makes sense because certain types of sites, such as wood treater sites, used similar
processes which resulted in similar contamination problems. EPA calls the similar approaches
used to address these similar sites "presumptive remedies"9 and has developed a series of
presumptive remedy guidance documents for particular categories of sites (e.g., landfills, metals
       6 A Conceptual Site Model is a three-dimensional representation of what is known or suspected about the
sources, releases, and release mechanisms, contaminant fate and transport, exposure pathways and potential
receptors, and risk.

       7 To access detailed information, guidance and other resources pertaining to innovative site characterization
tools and approaches, see htJ]3:/7www^diM
       8 The overall degree of data quality or uncertainty that a decision maker is willing to accept is referred to as
the Data Quality Objective (DQO) for a decision.

       9 EPA defines presumptive remedies as preferred technologies for common categories of sites, based on
historical patterns of remedy selection and EPA's scientific and engineering evaluation of how well technologies
perform (EPA, 1993).

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in soils, volatile organics in soils, contaminated groundwater, wood treaters). As stated in the
1996 ANPR, EPA recommends presumptive remedies be used at "...appropriate sites, including
RCRA facilities, to help ensure consistency in remedy selection and implementation, and to
reduce the cost and time required to investigate and cleanup similar types of sites."  EPA's
guidance on presumptive remedies is available at
Http://www.epa.gov/superfund/resources/presump/index.htm.

Innovative Technologies - EPA recommends regulators and facilities use innovative
technologies when they offer the potential for comparable or superior treatment performance or
implementability, fewer adverse impacts, or lower costs for equivalent levels of performance
when compared to more conventional technologies. When results-based cleanups allow for
innovative approaches, we recommend the overseeing agency require the owner or operator to
document the agreed-upon results.  We believe that results-based approaches can provide for this
kind of flexibility to incorporate many different technical solutions and approaches to facility
management. EPA's Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation maintains a
website (http://www.clu-in.org/) that offers a number of resources related to innovative
technologies.

Phased Approach - Facilities and regulators may improve efficiencies by phasing corrective
action to focus first on areas that represent the greatest short-term threat to human health and/or
the environment.  For example, a phased approach might first focus the facility on meeting
corrective action environmental indicators (Els), then after meeting Els, the regulator and facility
can discuss cleanup time frames and how to achieve intermediate milestones, where appropriate,
or final cleanup goals using a phased approach. Phased approaches may also benefit situations
where the facility is interested in selling or redeveloping parts of their property.

Facility-Lead (or Voluntary) Corrective Action Agreements - A facility-lead corrective
action agreement is typically a letter from the regulatory agency to the facility that generally (1)
outlines the intent of the facility to undertake corrective action, and (2) contains broad
performance standards that provide a framework to guide corrective action.  The advantage of
this approach is that it can provide an opportunity to expedite corrective action activities and
reduce the amount of resources expended by facilities and regulators. In the normal case, this
letter is non-binding, but may appeal to a facility who wants to sell its property or conduct
corrective action requirements prior to a permit, order or other enforceable mechanism  being
implemented.  Facilities interested in a facility-lead approach should contact the regulator if they
are interested in this option. Under facility-lead corrective action, as in any corrective  action
approach, it is important for all parties to understand what environmental results are expected by
the regulator and how the facility should go about meeting the results with the appropriate level
of oversight. We recommend the facility provide meaningful opportunities for public
participation. In our experience, this is typically crucial in order for it to be a success.  In
particular, we recommend the public be provided an opportunity to review and comment on the
cleanup activities.

III. Tailored Oversight

What is tailored oversight?

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    As stated previously, oversight, in general, is the responsibility of the lead regulator to
ensure the facility implements corrective action in accordance with applicable requirements.
Under a tailored oversight approach, regulators and facilities (where appropriate) develop a plan
that allows for the appropriate level of oversight for a particular facility rather than a pre-
determined "one size fits all" process. We recommend the regulator base the oversight plan on,
among other appropriate factors, facility-specific conditions and facility capabilities.

    We recommend that state and federal regulators, as appropriate, evaluate and implement
tailored oversight at facilities requiring corrective action.  Tailored oversight is a significant tool
in the overall diversified strategy of results-based project management.  EPA recommends
program implementers use tailored oversight to help run programs that effectively and efficiently
use resources to address environmental problems.

    This guidance does not supersede EPA's previous guidance (January 1992) that addressed
the subject of tailored oversight at corrective action facilities; rather, it reaffirms and expands the
previous guidance to recommend that regulators tailor oversight to facility-specific
circumstances.  Both this and the 1992 guidance stress that there are flexible approaches to
oversee cleanups.

What are the benefits of tailored oversight?

  The potential benefits of tailored oversight are:

  • • Focuses stakeholders on goals;
  • • Provides an opportunity for resource savings for both the implementing agency and the
      facility;
  • • May lead to faster results because expectations are clearly communicated and
      documented;
  • •  Streamlines administrative steps such as interim deliverables and duplicative federal/state
      reviews;
  • • Tailors oversight resources to site-specific factors;  and
  • • Provides a high level of certainty to stakeholders because corrective action objectives and
      the oversight approach is discussed at the beginning of corrective action activities.

Does  tailored oversight result in less protective cleanups?

    No. EPA's goal remains the same - that is, protection of human health and the
environment. Tailored oversight does not change the overall expected results of the RCRA
Corrective Action program.  It simply offers opportunities, where appropriate, for a facility to
reach those results faster. Achieving protection of human health and the environment more
efficiently is a benefit to all stakeholders.

How  does a regulator use tailored oversight?

    EPA recommends that regulators consider the following factors10 when tailoring their
       10 Recommended factors are based on experience of EPA regional and state personnel overseeing
corrective action, and previous EPA guidance (EPA, 1992; EPA, 1996b; EPA, 1997a; and, EPA 2001e)

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oversight at a particular facility.

• Severity of risk (see Highlight box) to human health and/or the environment;
• Site complexity;
• Compliance history of the facility;
• Public interest or facility's record on public involvement;
• Existence of incentives and motivation to expeditiously and willingly clean up the facility; and
• Demonstrated technical capability of facility

    In determining the appropriate level of oversight, we recommend regulators consider each
factor against the site-specific conditions that exist at the facility. For example, a reduced
oversight approach might be appropriate for even a complex site where the facility is
undertaking significant stakeholder outreach, has gained the trust of the community, is
cooperative with the overseeing agency, and has a good compliance record.
    In our experience, compliance
history has been a key factor regulators
use in determining the level of oversight
for a given corrective action facility.
For example, oversight might be
reduced where a facility has
demonstrated a willingness and ability
to cooperatively perform necessary
cleanup activities. For non-compliant
facilities, oversight might need to be
increased to help bring these parties
back into, or ensure future compliance.

    Another element in analyzing how
to tailor oversight is the facility's active
participation in developing a tailored
oversight approach.  In addition, in our
experience, a facility's willingness and
motivation to achieve short term
measures or final cleanup increase the
likelihood of a successful outcome
using tailored oversight. Again, we
recommend regulators determine an
appropriate level of oversight based on
the previously  recommended factors.

    Regardless of the level of oversight
used at a facility, we recommend that the overseeing agency ensure that the facility is required to
attain and document results. Clear and measurable results (e.g., Environmental Indicators, final
cleanup levels, public participation opportunities, performance standards), established at the
beginning, should help the facility demonstrate that the remedy meets RCRA requirements.
What are some of the general questions we generally
ask when we evaluate risk at a facility?

What is/are the:
-  actual or potential exposures of nearby populations,
   animals, or plants to hazardous constituents
-  actual or potential contamination of drinking water
   supplies or sensitive ecosystems
-  other situations that may pose threats to human
   health or the environment.
-  presence of hazardous wastes or hazardous
   constituents in drams, barrels, or bulk storage
   containers that may pose a threat of release
-  risks of fire or explosion or the potential for
   exposure to hazardous constituents as a result of an
   accident or failure of a container or handling system
-  presence of high levels of hazardous constituents in
   soils at or near the surface that may migrate
-  further degradation of the affected media that may
   occur if remedial action is not initiated
   expeditiously
-  weather conditions that may cause releases of
   hazardous constituents or migration of existing
   contamination
-  the time required to develop and implement a final
   remedy
How does EPA recommend results-based corrective action objectives be established under

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tailored oversight approaches?

    In EPA's experience, the cornerstone of effective oversight of corrective action activities is
a clear - and documented - understanding of facility-specific cleanup goals11.  Clear goals can
greatly enhance the prospect of achieving results that will satisfy EPA or the State. We
recommend that regulators and facilities describe goals in all key decision documents and
reports, and ensure that the public has access to this information. Tailored oversight, without
clearly defined goals, is susceptible to unfocused investigations, irrelevant data, slow cleanups,
and added costs.

What are some examples of situations where a regulator might tailor his/her oversight?

    Regulators and facilities should be aware that the level of needed oversight might change
throughout the course of corrective action based on facility-specific issues. Furthermore, we
recommend that regulators and facilities, where appropriate, balance streamlining objectives
with public information needs when developing tailored oversight plans. Once the overall level
of oversight is established, specific levels of oversight can be determined for specific activities.
For example, general expectations for low, medium, and high levels of oversight might be:

Low Oversight - minimal role of the regulator that primarily consists of establishing
performance standards and verifying that the facility has achieved these standards, after
certification by the facility.   When there are compliance schedules in a permit that extend
beyond a year, refer to 40CFR § 264.100.

Medium Oversight  - increased role of regulator,  including increased informal discussions,
facility visits, inspections, and more stringent review and verification of an increased number of
submittals.

High Oversight - the regulator directly oversees an intensive effort during which all documents
are reviewed and discussed with the facility.

    The following is a list of some oversight reducing activities that regulators might adapt as
appropriate based on facility-specific circumstances. These include, but are not limited to:

• Eliminating duplicative state/federal reviews of documents;
• Eliminating interim deliverables while maintaining accountability of the facility to produce a
  measurable end product;
• Limiting review where agency approval is not required for the facility to proceed;
• Increasing the use  of meetings, briefings, and other communication methods to identify and
  resolve issues early on rather than requiring formal documents be submitted and reviewed by
  the Agency;
• Limiting the number of facility visits for routine field activities when the facility demonstrates
  competence in achieving remedial results;
• Establishing performance standards that define clear and attainable results;
• Using briefings, conversations, and progress reports from the facility to replace some of the
       11 Refer to Section II of this document for an overview of short- and long-term cleanup goals for RCRA
Corrective Action.

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  formal interim deliverables while still making this information publicly available where
  appropriate; and,
• Encouraging communication among the regulator, facility and the community (e.g., make up-
  to-date facility information available at publically accessible locations).  EPA believes public
  participation is a key component of the corrective action process

How does tailored oversight affect formal reporting?

    Under a tailored oversight approach, the regulator might modify the number of formal
reports a facility submits to the agency based on facility-specific factors and the facility's
capabilities.  For example, the regulator might replace some of the traditional formal  reporting
requirements, with informal communication approaches.  In such a case, we recommend the
permit, order or other enforceable mechanism be written to allow informal communication and
reporting. If, however, a regulator tailors oversight at this level and the facility does  not achieve
the stated or agreed-upon results, the regulator might find it appropriate to alter the oversight
plan (and implementing mechanism), if necessary, to include more formal reporting
requirements and a higher level of oversight.

    Although EPA generally expects a facility to submit a reduced number of documents when
tailored oversight is implemented, the administrative record requirements for such corrective
actions remain the same for any corrective action.  Agency staff should consult with their Office
of Regional Counsel regarding appropriate documentation for the Agency's corrective action
decisions.

    The Guidance on Enforcement Approaches for Expediting RCRA Corrective Action (EPA,
200 Ic) provides examples of how an Agency might limit time spent negotiating consent orders
and permits, establish time limits to negotiate work plans, consider fixed and flexible schedules
of compliance, and limit a facility's revision opportunities.
Does tailored oversight mean reduced data quality?

    No.  Under the tailored oversight discussed in this guidance, the regulator works with the
facility to ensure the appropriate level of oversight.  Part of tailoring oversight is defining the
problem that the facility needs to address.  Once the regulator defines the problem, he or she can
help the facility develop a data gathering plan to obtain sufficient high quality data that will
allow for remedy decisions. Regardless of the level of oversight, the facility has the
responsibility to provide sufficient quality data to verify that the agreed upon results have been
met. Documentation allows the regulator and the public to assess the decisions that the facility
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performed during corrective action. EPA recommends facilities use the data quality objectives
as a framework to explain their data and decisions in the context of facility goals (see EPA,
1994a).

Does tailored oversight mean less communication between the facility and the regulator?

    No.  In fact, the tailored oversight approach is designed to result in more effective and
timely communication between the regulator and the facility.  As previously stated in this
guidance, we generally expect that reduced oversight approaches will lead to an increase in less
formal meetings, briefings and other communication methods to identify and resolve issues.
This informal approach reduces the amount of formal procedure, but may provide more frequent
contact between the regulator and the facility.

What general activities occur during a cleanup that EPA recommends a regulator discuss
with a facility before, during, and after developing a tailored oversight plan?

    The general activities listed below are typically discussed in characterizing and remediating
a facility.  The activities do not distinguish between the regulator's  or the facility's
responsibility, but rather what usually happens when both work together.  They may seem overly
simplified, but we think that recognizing and understanding each one is a good starting point for
regulators and facilities involved  in a facility cleanup.

General Cleanup Activities

•  Review site history;
•  Determine the nature and extent of environmental contamination;
•  Stabilize (i.e., control) problems if they represent a near-term unacceptable threat to human
  health or the environment;
•  Notify and solicit input from the public at the beginning of corrective action, at key junctures,
  and as appropriate given site-specific circumstances;
•  Work with appropriate parties to determine how decisions will be made for the following:
  - relative  priority of problems
  - future land use
  - establishing cleanup goals and risk levels
•  Develop reasonable alternatives to clean up priority areas of contamination, which might
  include consideration of appropriate presumptive remedies that might eliminate the need to
  evaluate multiple remedy alternatives;
•  Evaluate remedy alternatives;
•  Make decisions (e.g., relative priority, land use, cleanup goals and risk levels, remedy
  selection)  using the rules you developed above that include  consideration of all key
  stakeholder opinions and values;
•  Implement the remedy; and
•  Keep good records and document all key decisions throughout corrective action
  implementation

Can tailored oversight lead to resource savings?

    Yes. While the actual remedy cost (e.g., excavation and treatment) may not change,
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innovative technologies, presumptive remedies, tailored interim deliverables, and other results-
based tools may provide substantial cost savings in the total costs expended by the regulatory
agency and facility.

How does tailored oversight ensure public involvement?

    EPA is committed to substantial and meaningful involvement of communities throughout
RCRA corrective action activities. We recommend regulators and facilities develop and
maintain effective community involvement by developing a public participation strategy at the
beginning of the corrective action process.

    Timely and meaningful public participation is generally key to community acceptance of the
remedy. In addition to establishing the typical mandatory public involvement at critical stages of
decision making in corrective action activities, EPA continues to recommend frequent,
meaningful public involvement for corrective action activities in general.

    EPA's general expectations for public participation, as conveyed in Chapters four and five
of The RCRA Public Participation Manual (EPA, 1996a), are that facilities and regulators should
involve the public early in corrective action and share responsibilities for public participation
activities.  Another rule on public participation is the RCRA Expanded Public Participation Rule
(EPA, 1995) which contains many of the same concepts and ideas as the Public Participation
Manual. Note that it might be appropriate,  based on site-specific circumstances, to include
additional public participation in situations where there is less regulatory oversight.

    In general, we recommend regulators and facilities provide opportunities for meaningful
public participation throughout corrective action, as appropriate, given site-specific
circumstances  and  community interest.  We recommend public participation generally occur at
the:
    Initiation of corrective action;
    Selection of significant interim measures, as appropriate;
    Selection of final remedy; and,
    Completion of corrective action
 How will the regulatory agency use enforcement under tailored oversight approaches?

    If a facility has not met deadlines or the agreed upon results, then there are a number of
enforcement options. Identifying enforcement options is likely to be especially important when
tailored oversight is extended over a long period of time. For non-compliance, enforcement
options might include taking formal enforcement action (e.g., enforcing the corrective action
provisions of the permit, issuing an order, referring a case to the Department of Justice),
collecting stipulated penalties, and putting facilities on strict oversight and compliance
schedules. For additional guidance on enforcement, refer to EPA, 200Ic.

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What are some examples of activities that facilities might conduct under a tailored
oversight approach?
 Initial Site Assessments
Where RCRA Facility Assessments (RFAs) have not yet been
completed, the regulator might allow facilities to choose to
conduct their own site assessment or characterization, and submit
the report for regulatory review.  If the regulator believes the site
assessment is adequate, they might approve and adopt it as the
RFA for the facility.
 Evaluate
 Environmental
 Indicators
Under a tailored oversight plan, the regulator might allow the
facility to complete evaluations for the Current Human Exposures
Under Control and Migration of Contaminated Groundwater
Under Control environmental indicators and then submit it for
Agency review and ultimate decision-making.
 Interim (or Short-
 Term) Measures
The nature and scope of the interim measure may allow us to rely
on simple confirmation sampling or self-documentation of
achieving a particular performance standard without involving
ourselves heavily in the design phase or may allow the facility to
prove their capability and earn reduced oversight on later, larger
project components.
 Public Involvement
Stakeholder involvement is typically extremely important in
corrective action cleanups, regardless of the levels of oversight
used.
 Final Remedy Selection
 and Implementation
Using a tailored oversight approach, EPA expects remedies to
protect human health and the environment. Cleanup goals are
generally conveyed terms of media cleanup levels, points of
compliance, cleanup time frames, and source control.  Public
comments should be taken into account in the remedy decision.
Once a regulator develops a tailored oversight plan for a facility, what goals and milestones
does EPA recommend regulators require them to use to measure progress?

    The goal of the corrective action program is to protect human health and the environment.
We recommend the specific goals and milestones that regulators, as well as facilities use to
measure progress be linked to the major corrective action activities (e.g., facility-wide
assessments, evaluating whether cleanup actions are needed for all releases, selecting final
remedies within an acceptable risk range and hazard index, public participation throughout
corrective action, and a preference for treatment of principle threats).  In protecting human
health and the environment, we recommend that regulators select a remedy that attains
appropriate media clean-up standards, controls, where necessary, the source(s) of releases to
reduce or eliminate further releases of hazardous waste, and complies with applicable standards
for waste management. We recommend that regulators and the facility state these goals and
milestones, where appropriate, in all key decision documents and reports.
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    For the near-term, we recommend the regulator and the facility focus on the two
environmental indicators which are the primary short-term goals of the corrective action
program. Because environmental indicators focus on results, they might, where appropriate,
serve well as short-term results measures for remedial activities. While meeting these indicators
is an appropriate near-term goal, we recommend regulators emphasize that final cleanup is the
ultimate goal for corrective action.  Additionally, we recommend the regulator and the facility
establish, at the beginning, public participation milestones throughout the corrective action
process.

IV. Conclusion

    By focusing on tailoring process requirements to site-specific circumstances,  regulators and
facilities may more efficiently and cost-effectively manage facility-wide clean ups that protect
human health and the environment. Results-based approaches provide the RCRA program with
tools to address environmental  contamination in ways that protect human health and the
environment while tailoring the approaches to facility-specific factors. We recommend
regulators use the results-based approaches outlined in this guidance,  where appropriate, to help
facilities fulfill their corrective action obligations.

    Tailored oversight is an integral part of results-based corrective action. We recommend
regulators look at their oversight levels on a facility-specific basis and make the appropriate
adjustments. Using tailored oversight approaches, regulators eliminate administrative or
technical steps, as appropriate,  for facilities that have shown they are capable of meeting the
environmental objectives established for their facilities. Tailored oversight is designed to help
focus activities on environmental results rather than "one-site-fits-all" process steps and ensure
that each corrective action-related activity, at any given facility, directly supports  cleanup goals
at that facility.
V. Contacts

  For more information on this document please contact Karen Tomimatsu
at Tomimatsu.Karen@epa.gov (703) 605-0698. Any enforcement issues should be directed to
Peter Neves at Neves Jgter@epa±gov (202) 564-6072.
VI. References

EPA, 200la. Handbook of Groundwater Protection and Cleanup Policies for RCRA Corrective
Action (EPA/530/F-01/021, September). Available at
http://www.epa.gov/correctiveaction/resoiirce/guidance/gw/gwhandbk/gwhndbk.htm.

EPA, 2001b. Risky Business? An Overview of Risk Assessment and RCRA (EPA/530/F-
00/032, February). Available at http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/docs/riskfinal.pdf.

EPA, 200 Ic. Guidance on Enforcement Approaches for Expediting RCRA Corrective Action
(January). Available at httpj//www,epa.^

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EPA, 2001d. RCRA Cleanup Reforms Round II -- Fostering Creative Solutions (EPA/530/F-
01/001, January). Available at
EPA, 2000a. Institutional Controls: A Site Manager's Guide to Identifying, Evaluating and
Selecting Institutional Controls at Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action Cleanups
(EPA/540/F-00/005, September). OSWER Directive 9355. 0-74FS-P. Available at
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/ca/resource/guidance/ics/icfactfinal.pdf.

OSWER directive (9230.0-75) "Federal Facilities Streamlined Oversight Directive Objective";
November 29, 1996.             _

OSWER directive (9200.4-15); (See EPA 1996b) OSWER Directive (9200.0-32P) "Interim
Guidance on Implementing the Superfund Administrative Reform on PRP Oversight" on
5/17/2000).  Available at Http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/reforms/docs.htm.

EPA, 1999a. RCRA Cleanup Reforms (EPA/530/F-99/018, July). For more information, refer
to    : //www . epa . gov/epaoswer/h azwaste/ca/ref orm s . htm

EPA, 1999b. Interim Final Guidance for RCRA Corrective Action Environmental Indicators
(February 5). Available at http://www.epa.. gov/epaoswer/coiTectiveaction;/eis/ei_guida. pdf

EPA, 1998a. RCRA Orientation Manual (EPA/530/R-98/004). Available at
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/general/orientat/index.htm.

EPA, 1998b. Hazardous Waste Identification Rule for Contaminated Media, Final Rule (63 FR
65874).  Available at Mj]3i//wwwj:|)^^
EPA, 1998c. EPA memorandum on "Management of Remediation Waste Under RCRA"
(October). Available at
http ://www.    gov/epaoswer/corcecti veaction/workshop/remwaste/memo. pdf _ .

EPA, 1998d. Memorandum from Elizabeth Cotsworth to RCRA Senior Policy Advisors titled,
Risk-Based Clean Closure (March 16). Available at
http://www.epa.gov/correctiveaction/resource/guidance/risk/cclosfnl.pdf.

EPA, 1998e. Standards Applicable to Owners and Operators of Closed and Closing Hazardous
Waste Management Facilities: Post-Closure Permit Requirement and Closure Process; Final
Rule (63 FR 567 10). Available at
http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/1998/October/Dav-22/f28221.pdf.

EPA, 1997a. EPA memorandum "Lead Regulator Policy for Cleanup Activities at Federal
Facilities on the National Priorities List" (November).

EPA, 1997a. Memorandum from Elliott P. Laws and Steven A. Herman to RCRA/CERCLA
Senior Policy Managers titled, "Use of the Corrective Action Advance Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking as Guidance" (January 17). Available at
http://vosemite.epa.gov/osw/rcra.nsf/documents/8BF009F9B3672563852566n0072DA71.

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EPA, 1997b. Rules of Thumb for Superfund Remedy Select! on (EPA/540/R-97/0 13).  Available
at Mtpj //wiaw,.e.pa,.gQ

EPA, 1997c. A Citizen's Guide to Understanding Presumptive Remedies (EPA/540/F-97/019,
October).  Available at Ml33i//wwwJ3^
EPA, 1996a. RCRA Public Participation Manual (EPA/530/R-96/007). Available at
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/permit/pubpart/manual.htm. Particularly relevant pages:
2.5-2.7.

EPA, 1996b. Reducing Federal Oversight at Superfund Sites with Cooperative and Capable
Parties (July).  OSWER Directive 9200.4-15.  Available at:
Http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/reforms/docs.htm.

EPA, 1996c. Soil Screening Guidance Fact Sheet (EPA/540/F-95/041, July). Available at
http://www.epa.gov/oerrpage/superfund/resources/soil/.

EPA, 1996d. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (61 FR 19432, May 1). Available at
http://www.epa.gOv/docs/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/1996/M:av/Pav-01/pr-547.pdf.

EPA, 1995. RCRA Expanded Public Participation Rule (60 FR 63417). Available at
http ://www. epa. gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/permit/pubpart.httn .

EPA, 1994a. Guidance for the Data Quality Objective Process (EPA/600/R-96/055, September).
 Available at http://www.epa.gov/correctiveaction/resource/guidance/qa/epaqag4.pdf.
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