Setting Priorities:
              Achieving Results


                                                       SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                 A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
                             A Message from the Assistant Administrator	2

                             Introduction	3

                             Restore Contaminated Properties to Environmental
                             and Economic Vitality	4

                             Increase America's Homeland Security	8

                             Focus Regulatory Efforts on Risk Reduction and Statutory
                             Compliance	10

                             Promote Stewardship and Resource Conservation Consistent
                             with the Agency's Resource Conservation Challenge	12

                             Encourage Voluntary Efforts to Clean Up Sites	16

                             Strengthen OSWER	18

                             A Look to the Future .                                 .21

A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
According to our mission
statement, OSWER provides
policy, guidance, and direction
for the Agency's solid waste
and emergency response
programs. For example, we
develop guidelines for the land
disposal of hazardous waste
and underground storage
tanks. We provide technical
assistance to all levels of
government to establish
safe practices in waste
management.  We lead the
Brown fields program, which
supports state, tribal, and local
governments in redeveloping
and reusing potentially
contaminated sites.  We also
manage the Superfund program
to respond to abandoned and
active hazardous waste sites
and accidental oil and chemical
releases, as well as encourage
innovative technologies to
clean up contaminated soil and
groundwater. OSWER does all
this and so much more.

As detailed in the following
report, today's OSWER does
more than provide direction
for solid and hazardous waste
management. We encourage
resource conservation.
OSWER does more than clean
up contaminated property.
We encourage sustainable
reuse. OSWER does more
than respond to accidental
oil and chemical releases.
We are a major partner in
ensuring the nation's homeland
security. All these activities
are  an outgrowth of OSWER's
core missions and provide
significant benefits.
This report is a testament to
the hard work and creativity of
the headquarters and regional
EPA employees working on
OSWER-related issues. It
is also a testament to the
importance of successful
collaboration with co-
regulators, stakeholders,
and communities. Through
the actions described below,
EPA employees and partners
are producing significant
environmental results that will
continue to improve the world
around us.

                                                          SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                    A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
Late in 2005, EPA
Administrator Stephen Johnson
released The Administrator's
Action Plan, setting five
Agency-wide priorities that
responded to a challenge posed
by President George W. Bush.
The President had charged EPA
"with accelerating the pace
of environmental protection
while maintaining our nation's
economic competitiveness."
The Administrator's Action
Plan laid out the blueprint for
meeting that challenge.

The Administrator's Action
• Cleaner Air and A ffordable
• Clean and Safe Water
• Healthy Communities and
• The Global Environment
• A Stronger EPA
In March 2006, the Office of
Solid Waste and Emergency
Response (OSWER) produced a
corresponding Action Plan that
defined how OSWER would
support the Administrator's
plan by prioritizing action in
six key areas  of responsibility.
Since then, OSWER's Action
Plan has guided the work of all
OSWER offices. See http://epa.

The purpose of the OSWER
Action Plan was not to launch
new initiatives. Rather, the
purpose was to set clear
priorities for OSWER's daily
work effort, reemphasize the
importance of a defined set of
activities, and impart renewed
impetus and urgency to those
activities.  The Action Plan
also integrated into OSWER's
programs some earlier
successful pilot projects and

This report summarizes
OSWER's progress under
its Action  Plan. Specific
accomplishments are described
in chapters that correspond
to the six prioritized items in
the Action Plan. This report
is not meant to capture
all of OSWER's activities
over the past several years,
but emphasizes those that
supported the priorities set
by OSWER management and
the Administrator in their
respective Action Plans.

             As a legacy of
    industrialization and past
      practices, hundreds of
     thousands of properties
 and millions of acres across
      the country have been
  damaged by environmental
 contamination. Fortunately,
     a movement has grown
across the country to restore
 and reclaim these properties
  for community, economic,
 and ecologic uses. In many
places, government, private,
 and non-profit organizations
       are working together
      to assess, restore, and
   return these unproductive
    properties to sustainable
 and beneficial uses that are
 protective of health and the
 environment. Neighborhood
       parks, residential and
  commercial developments,
     manufacturing facilities,
        and restored natural
  environments exist around
     the country because of
  revitalization partnerships.
 Cleaning up and reinvesting
 in these properties also take
  development pressures off
    undeveloped,  open land,
   so the momentum around
cleanup and sustainable land
 reuse will continue to  grow.
      To help promote these
 activities, OSWER's Action
    Plan emphasized specific
  areas of cleanup programs
     that would improve the
   effectiveness of cleanups
    and promote sustainable
                land reuse.


Contaminated sediments present
a unique cleanup challenge.
Because a number of Superfund
sites contain contaminated
sediments, the Contaminated
Sediments Technical Advisory
Group (CSTAG) was established in
2002 to monitor the progress of—
and provide advice regarding —
large, complex, or controversial
Superfund sites containing
contaminated sediments.
CSTAG is encouraging national
consistency in the management
of sediment sites and improving
the effectiveness of sediment
cleanups by providing a forum
for the exchange of technical
and policy information. It is
also providing a mechanism
for monitoring and evaluating
cleanup progress at the largest
or most complex sites. At this
time over a dozen sites have
been identified for CSTAG
review, and more are likely to be
identified as additional information
becomes available. See http://

Green Remediation

Another way to improve the
effectiveness of cleanups is to
embrace the  concept of green
remediation,  which promotes
the idea that all aspects of
environmental protection should
be considered throughout the
remediation process. With this
principle in mind, remedies
used at contaminated sites
are built and  operated in ways
that minimize any negative
environmental impact.
For example, in the past
the energy used to clean
up contaminated sites was
almost entirely carbon-based.
Increasingly, however, cleanup
projects carried out by OSWER's
programs are using renewable
solar and wind energy to power
some equipment. In April
2008, EPA released the Green
Remediation Primer: Incorporating
Sustainable Environmental
Practices into Remediation of
Contaminated Sites to make it
easier for site decision makers
to use environmentally friendly
cleanup techniques. The primer
explains how remediation  fits
into EPA's mission to clean up
contaminated sites, and provides
practical examples —including
case studies—for site decision
makers. See http://www.clu-
in. org/greenremediation/.


Our Brownfields program recently
implemented the Assessment,
Cleanup, and Redevelopment
Exchange System (ACRES),
a Web-based environmental

                                                                SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                         A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
accomplishments reporting tool
for brownfields grantees, to
help improve the management
of brownfields grant programs.
The system was first used on a
pilot basis in the fall of 2006,
and all grantees are now eligible
to use the system. The database
is improving the timeliness of
reported accomplishments,
and reducing the previous data
backlog. The use of ACRES is
also helping to improve data and
information quality by providing
a more comprehensive data
collection and reporting tool.

FFRRO Odometer

Another tool for improving the
management of  an OSWER
cleanup program is the FFRRO
Odometer. Tracking information
related to federal facility
Superfund sites  has traditionally
been a complex, time-consuming
job. The planning and data entry
processes were  difficult,  and
reports pulled from the CERCLIS
database were cumbersome to
use. Managers were not able
to easily track cleanup progress
at federal facility sites.

Just over two years ago, OSWER
began an effort  to build a better
tracking system, and today the
Federal Facilities eFacts Odometer
is being used at both the site,
regional, and national levels as
an effective site planning and
tracking tool.  Officially released
in the spring of 2007, this tool
allows cleanup site  and program
managers to visualize site-specific
plans  and targets in detail.
Environmental Indicators

In order to measure progress
protecting human health through
site cleanup programs under both
Superfund and the Resource
Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA), OSWER uses two
environmental indicators: human
exposures and groundwater
migration. Before final site cleanup
is completed,  both programs
work to ensure that 1) people
are not exposed to unacceptable
levels of contamination  at cleanup
sites,  and 2) the migration of
contaminated groundwater has
been stabilized, if contaminated
groundwater is present  at the site.

In the Superfund program, there
are currently 1,587 sites on the
National Priorities List (NPL) for
cleanup. By October 1,  2008,
human exposures were  under
control at over 83 percent of the
NPL sites where we are tracking
human exposures. Contaminated
groundwater migration had been
stabilized at about 71 percent of
the sites where the groundwater
was known to be contaminated.
Superfund has undertaken an
extensive effort to improve the
quality of the data reported under
these measures. In addition, to
ensure the public is aware of any
potential exposures,  additional
narrative content was recently
added to the profile of each
Superfund site to help the public
learn more about contaminants
and exposure pathways at each
site. These site profiles can be
accessed from the Superfund
Site Information page: http://
cursites/srchsites. cfm.

The RCRA Corrective Action
program has identified 1,968
facilities that are considered
priorities for cleanup. By October
1, 2008,  human exposures
to hazardous pollutants were
controlled at 96 percent of
those high-priority sites, and
the migration of contaminated
groundwater had been controlled
at about 83 percent  of the high-
priority sites.  See http://www. waste/hazard/

A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
Ready for Anticipated Use

An important outcome of OSWER
cleanup programs is to make
properties available for return
to productive use. To measure
progress toward that outcome,
OSWER recently developed  a
new performance  measure called
"Ready for Anticipated Use
(RAU)." This new measure counts
the  total number of sites and
acres that all  OSWER's cleanup
programs —Superfund, Federal
Facilities, RCRA, Brownfields, and
Underground  Storage Tanks-
make ready for continued use
or reuse. To be considered
"ready for anticipated use,"
remedy construction must be
complete, all cleanup goals for
media that may affect current
and reasonably anticipated future
land uses must be achieved,
and all needed institutional or
other land use controls must
be in place, for either the entire
site, or the acres of land, for
which the RAU determination
is made. See http://www.epa.

This new measure will not
only be a useful management
tool, but it will also be valuable
to communities where once-
contaminated property is now
RAU, and to any parties interested
in developing such property.
More than 725,000 acres
are now ready for anticipated
use in the  United States.

Private Cleanup of Federal

One of the most encouraging
innovations in the federal facility
cleanup program is the recent
involvement of private parties
in the cleanup of contaminated
sites. In 2007, EPA along with
the State of California, the U.S.
Air Force, Sacramento County,
and McClellan Business Park,
negotiated an arrangement for the
Air Force to pay the McClellan
Business Park $11.2 million to
clean up a 62-acre parcel on
the McClellan Air Force Base
Superfund Site. The ensuing
development is  expected to result
in as many as 1,200 jobs and
$600,000 per year in increased
tax revenues for the region.
A similar private cleanup is
underway at Fort Ord in California.

Green Development/

Besides helping communities
clean up contaminated properties,
OSWER has begun to take actions
that lead to sustainable reuse of
these sites. These actions will lead
to lower energy demand, reduced
greenhouse gas emissions, less
water use, and other health
and environmental benefits that
will contribute to long-term
economic and environmental
sustainability at cleaned up
sites. For example, recently-
funded Brownfields Sustainability
Pilots will bring long-term air
and water quality benefits by
promoting green buildings, energy
and water efficiency,  and other
environmentally protective factors
in redevelopment projects. See
sustain _plts/index.htm.

Sustainability also is a factor
we consider when selecting
from among brownfields
grant applicants. Additionally,
brownfield training, research, and
technical assistance grants are
supporting new and innovative
ideas in  sustainable development.

Three new OSWER innovation
and land revitalization priorities
have been established: green
remediation, green buildings,
and long-term stewardship.
Grant funding has been provided
for eight regional projects that
support  these priorities, including
the development of guidelines
for mass transit-specific green
buildings (Region 9), guidance for
rewriting local building permits,
building  codes, and ordinances
related to green buildings  (Region
4), and a pilot project to test
environmental stewardship
techniques and energy-saving
innovations at gas stations.

Reuse for Renewable

One  newly-emerging reuse for
cleaned-up properties is at sites
for renewable energy-based
electricity generating plants,
like wind farms. Substantial
amounts of electricity may
soon be generated at once-
contaminated Superfund and
RCRA sites and sent to the grid
for use in American homes and
businesses. Because the energy is
renewable, there will be no carbon
footprint. To facilitate these
uses, OSWER, in partnership with
the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory (NREL),  recently
launched a Web site with  maps
and incentive sheets to provide
information about opportunities
for renewable energy generation
on contaminated lands and mining
sites in all 50 states. The  Web site

                                                                SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                          A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
                                  ENSURE LONG-TERM STEWARDSHIP
covers potential for five types of
renewable energy: 1) community
wind energy; 2) utility-scale wind
energy; 3) concentrating solar
power (CSP); 4) photovoltaic solar
energy (PV)); and 5) biomass
energy. See http://www.epa.

The Petroleum Brownfie/ds
Revitalization Action Plan

About 200,000 brownfield sites
are estimated to be contaminated
with petroleum products.  Many
of these sites are old, abandoned
gas stations. In addition to the
grant funds that EPA provides to
communities to assess and clean
up petroleum brownfield sites,
OSWER has begun a much more
aggressive effort to support the
reuse and revitalization of those
sites in order to help communities
strengthen their local economies.
To that end, in September
2008 OSWER released to the
public a Petroleum Brownfields
Revitalization Action Plan that
presents  a comprehensive strategy
for putting petroleum brownfields
back into productive use.  See
http://www. 1/
Institutional Controls
Tracking System

Institutional controls (ICs) like
deed restrictions, zoning, and
property easements are often
a part of Superfund cleanups
when some waste is left in place
and there is a need to protect
the public from exposure to
remaining contaminants. When
the more extensive revitalization
and reuse of cleaned-up sites
became a priority, institutional
controls became even more
important for ensuring public
health and safety. Superfund
has developed an Institutional
Controls Tracking System to list
controls already in place, or being
put in place, at every Superfund
site. The parties responsible
for monitoring the controls are
identified, and the actual control
instruments are copied into
the system. This information is
essential for determining when
site redevelopment could begin,
and what kind of redevelopment
is most appropriate. It is available
on the site profiles  contained on
the Superfund Web site, provided
the information is quality assured
and reliably documented. All
published ICs at Superfund sites
also may be found at: http://
Cleanups in My

Another way to improve long-
term stewardship at cleanup
sites is to make sure people
are aware of them. In the past,
people interested in  learning
about any cleanups in their
communities would have to know
which OSWER programs were
responsible for cleanups, access
those programs' Web sites one-
by-one, and then aggregate the
information from each Web site on
their own. With the development
of the Cleanups in My Community
Web site, that information is now
available  in a much more user-
friendly format.  People can now
simply search for their community
on the Web site, and they will be
presented with information about
all cleanups being conducted  by
the different OSWER programs.
They also will be able to map or
list all the local cleanup  sites. This
Web site has been available to
the public for about  a year, and
new  information is continually
being added to the site. See
 EPA's Cleanups in My Community
 Web site
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                               INCREASE AMERICA'S HOMELAND
         While EPA has been
    responding to releases of
 hazardous substances to the
environment from any source
    for over 30 years, EPA's
    significant involvement in
    homeland security began
 with the terrorist attacks on
 the World Trade Center and
 the Pentagon on September
    11, 2001, and since then
  has expanded dramatically.
       OSWER's emergency
    response effort is led by
    the Office of Emergency
Management. OSWER and its
   regional counterparts have
    over  30 years experience
      in  hazardous materials
    emergency response, and
  this experience is the basis
 for much of EPA's role in the
   government-wide National
 Response Framework. Given
 the global threat of terrorism
in the world today,  OSWER's
activities  related to homeland
   security are a top priority,
 and several steps have been
     taken over the past few
 years to strengthen response
Incident Command System
Under the government-wide
National Incident Management
System (NIMS), all agencies are
required to implement the Incident
Command System (ICS), which
includes common terminology,
standardized training, pre-
designated leadership positions,
and well-understood assigned
responsibilities. EPA was one of
the first agencies to adopt the
ICS. On-Scene Coordinators and
numerous other EPA personnel at
headquarters and in the regions
have been trained in appropriate
levels in the ICS.
Emergency Operations
In 2004, EPA constructed a state
of the art Emergency Operations
Center (EOC) to serve as a hub
for Agency communications
during emergencies and support
our field operations. The EOC
proved its value during the
response to Hurricane Katrina,
and it is used on a daily basis by
EPA watch officers who monitor
emergency notifications.
The EOC was upgraded in
2007 with the inclusion of
more work stations, improved
communications systems, and
event rooms where staff can
meet and coordinate activities
during emergencies. EPA's EOC is
now as technically sophisticated
as EOCs in other agencies, and
it includes secure areas for
holding classified information.

                                                               SETTING PRIORITIES:  ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                         A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
Environmental Response

Over the past few years EPA
has dramatically expanded the
capabilities of the Agency's
Environmental Response
Team (ERT), and has also
extended its reach by opening
an additional ERT office in Las
Vegas, Nevada. ERT's homeland
security capabilities now include
air surveillance, geophysical
surveying, underwater diving,
risk assessment, and analytical
support related to potential
threats; for example, releases
of biological  and/or chemical
agents.  ERT  also provides
training  to first responders,
such as local fire fighters and
other emergency personnel,
on all aspects of emergency
response and readiness. See

Response Support Corps

After the events of 9/11, EPA
developed a  voluntary Response
Support Corps (RSC) to bring
more personnel  into action during
emergencies and thus maximize
the Agency's response capabilities
using currently available
resources. Since then, over 2,000
EPA employees from headquarters
and the  regions have volunteered
to support emergency response
activities as members of the RSC.
RSC personnel are trained in the
Incident Command System, and
they participate in exercises  to
enhance their preparedness.

Environmental Response
Laboratory Network

In 2008, EPA launched the
Environmental Response
Laboratory Network (ERLN)
which, when fully operational,
will ensure that EPA has sufficient
analytical capability and capacity
to support Agency responses
to a large-scale event, including
a biological, chemical, or
radiological attack.  Phase I of the
ERLN included  EPA's laboratories
and some state environmental
laboratories.  Specifically, EPA
is building  chemical warfare
environmental laboratory capacity
at five  EPA regional labs, two
state labs, and three mobile
facilities to be deployed into
the field during a response. The
Agency is also in the process of
identifying federal, state, and
commercial laboratories that use
consistent procedures and that
have strong quality assurance
programs,  so the analytical
data needed from multiple
laboratories during responses will
be consistent and comparable.
National Decontamination

The National Decontamination
Team (NOT) was established
in 2005, and has a staff of
approximately 15 personnel with
expertise in multiple scientific
and technical disciplines. The
NOT provides decontamination
expertise related to chemical,
biological, and radiological
contaminants that can be
used as weapons of mass
destruction. The NOT is prepared
to support the decontamination
of buildings, building contents,
environmental media like soil,
and public infrastructure like
waste treatment and drinking
water systems, chemical plants,
power plants, food processing
facilities, and mass transit
systems. Specialized expertise
in biochemistry, microbiology
and medicine, health physics,
toxicology, HVAC engineering,
and industrial hygiene are available
through the NOT to assist
local, state, tribal, and federal
agencies during emergencies.

Decontamination Methods

In 2007, the National
Decontamination Team developed
and published an online portfolio
of decontamination methods for
select chemical, biological, and
radiological agents like anthrax,
sarin, ricin, sulfur mustard,
cesium-137, and strontium-90.
The portfolio not only describes
different decontamination
techniques, but also the chemical
and physical parameters of
contaminants, field detection
tools, air dispersion models,
toxicology/risk parameters, and
health and safety characteristics.
The portfolio is updated
continually for new contaminants
and with new information
about old contaminants. It is
an excellent resource for all
responders at all levels and
agencies of government.

                             FOCUS  REGULATORY EFFORTS ON
                             RISK REDUCTION  AND STATUTORY
   OSWER's responsibility to
  develop and to improve the
  clarity and imp/ementabi/ity
 of environmental regulations
    will continue to be a top
   priority within this office.
     OSWER also has made
    a special effort to revise
      regulations so they no
   longer contain inadvertent
disincentives to the recycling
  or reuse of industrial waste
     In addition, in 2005 the
       Congress enacted the
  Underground Storage Tank
     Compliance Act as part
   of the Energy Policy Act.
    Since then, OSWER has
     put in place regulations
    and guidance needed to
             implement it.

Streamlining Oil Spill

Under Section 31 1 of the
Clean Water Act, EPA has
been delegated the authority to
regulate storage tanks holding
oil and mixtures containing oil.
EPA's rules impose a number
of requirements related to
Spill Prevention, Control,
and  Countermeasure (SPCC)
Plans, and those requirements
impose a substantial burden on
the regulated community. In
December 2006 and December
2008, EPA amended the
SPCC regulations to clarify
the requirements, tailor them
more appropriately, and
provide alternatives to improve
compliance. See 71 Fed. Reg.
77266 (Dec. 26, 2006); 73 Fed.
Reg. 74236 (Dec. 5, 2008).
Tailoring Regulations for
Academic Laboratories

In a rule published on December
1, 2008, EPA streamlined the
hazardous waste management
rules for academic and research
laboratories in order to make
them more compatible with
typical lab operations, and to
improve the overall management
of chemicals in laboratories.
Chemical use and management
in academic laboratories is
much different from that in
large manufacturing processes.
Academic laboratories employ
students and tend to generate
small amounts of many different
wastes, while industrial processes
tend to generate large amounts
of a few wastes. This revised
rule recognizes these differences,
and tailors the chemical waste
management practices to meet
the  unique needs of academic
laboratories,  thus improving
compliance and environmental
performance. See 73 Fed.
Reg. 72912  (Dec. 1, 2008).

                                                                SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                         A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
The Energy Policy Act of 2005
contained a number of provisions
that strengthened federal, state,
and tribal programs for preventing
leaks from underground storage
tanks  (USTs). Among those
provisions were requirements for:
• Mandatory inspections of all
  USTs every three years
• Development and
  implementation of owner/
  operator training
• Prohibition of product delivery
  at non-complying facilities
• Secondary containment of
  tanks or financial responsibility
  for  tank manufacturers and
• State compliance reports on
  government-owned USTs
• Posting and maintaining public
  records for USTs

Completion of Guidelines

By the end of 2007, OSWER's
UST program had written and
issued a series of grant  guidelines
to help states carry out  these new
requirements. Since then, OSWER
has met with many stakeholders
to identify and clarify issues
and to answer any  questions
related to implementation of
the grant guidelines. This nation
is making substantial progress
in meeting the mandates of
the Energy Policy Act.
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     Chapter 4;
 Promoting the recycling and
  reuse of natural resources
       has a/ways been an
 important part of OSWER's
   responsibilities. In 1976,
 the Resource Conservation
  and Recovery Act (RCRA)
explicitly included provisions
   for resource conservation
   and recovery. But for the
 law's first quarter century,
   OSWER spent most of its
    time and energy writing
      and implementing the
  regulations related to solid
 waste and hazardous waste
     management systems.
 In 2002, OSWER launched
 the Resource Conservation
        Challenge (RCC) to
  heighten the visibility and
    importance of OSWER's
      efforts to manage the
     recycling and reuse of
      waste materials, thus
 avoiding the environmental
   and public health risks of
  waste disposal altogether.
  OSWER has promoted the
    goals of the RCC in two
separate but complementary
     ways: 1) by writing or
     revising regulations to
     encourage recycling or
 reduce inadvertent barriers
     to recycling; and 2) by
  forming partnerships with
  communities, businesses,
     and other government
 agencies that work together
to promote the recycling and
   reuse of specific kinds of
 materials that are currently
           being wasted.
Furthermore, OSWER is a
critical partner in addressing
climate change and reducing
U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions. Opportunities
exist to reduce or avoid GHG
emissions by reducing the
amount of materials used to
make products or perform
services and re-engineering
production processes to
minimize raw material
inputs, extend product life
spans, and maximize the
ease of subsequent product
disassembly for further
productive use. OSWER and
state co-regulators implement
environmental programs
authorized by a number of
statutes with a range of human
health and environmental
objectives. Leveraging
these programs to achieve
measurable climate change
benefits in no way rep/aces or
supersedes OSWER program
goals. Rather, OSWER hopes
to promote the  recognition
that these programs yield
myriad environmental benefits,
including significant climate
change benefits.
                           Metals from a demolition site are salvaged for recycling

                                                                SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                         A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
The Definition of Solid

In a rulemaking effort of unusual
legal complexity, EPA revised
the RCRA Definition of Solid
Waste in order to encourage more
recycling of industrial hazardous
materials. Hazardous waste
regulations sometimes can act
as a disincentive to recycling
and resource conservation and
may impose unnecessary costs
on legitimate and safe recycling.
Yet many of those wastes can
be safely reclaimed and recycled,
with substantial economic
and environmental benefits.

The final rule revising the RCRA
Definition of Solid Waste was
published on October 30, 2008.
See 73 Fed. Reg. 64668 (Oct.
30, 2008). In revising this rule,
EPA added three new regulatory
exclusions for certain industrial
hazardous materials that, when
recycled consistent with special
management standards, are
no longer defined as a solid
waste if they are reclaimed,
thus making it easier and less
expensive to recycle them. These
exclusions make it easier and less
expensive to recycle hazardous
secondary materials.

This revision may affect as many
as 5,600 industrial  facilities,
and may result in regulatory
compliance cost savings to the
regulated community of $95
million per year by tailoring
regulations applicable to about  1.5
million tons of secondary material
that are or will be recycled. These
cost savings include a potential
for 23,000 tons per year of newly
induced recycling, potentially
involving 2,440 facilities and a
savings of $ 1 7 million per year.
Comparable Fuels

EPA expanded the Comparable
Fuels Exclusion under RCRA
to increase energy recovery
from secondary materials while
maintaining environmental
safeguards. Signed on December
12, 2008, this rule will help cut
facility operating  costs and reduce
the need for burning fuel oil,
often imported. The conditions
imposed by the rule ensure that
these materials, when burned
for energy recovery, generate
emissions  comparable to the
emissions  generated by burning
fuel oil. In  addition, expanding
the comparable fuels exclusion
under RCRA is expected to
result in total net social benefits
of approximately  $13 million
per year, which is composed
mostly of avoided management
and fuel costs. It is estimated
that an additional 34,000 tons
per year of secondary material
would be burned for energy
recovery in industrial boilers.

Cathode Ray Tubes

To promote the recycling of
cathode ray tubes (CRTs) found
in electronics, EPA revised  RCRA
regulations to exempt recycled
CRTs from the definition of
solid waste, provided certain
conditions that ensure safe
recycling are followed. This
change removed significant
barriers to CRT recycling, and
means that recycled CRTs are
not considered to be hazardous
waste when safe management
practices are followed and,
therefore,  are not subject to
hazardous waste regulations.

A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan

The Coal Combustion Products
Partnership (C2P2), made up of
more than 170 government,
university, and private sector
partners, works to find uses for
coal ash and other byproducts of
coal combustion. More than 120
million tons of these byproducts
are generated in the United
States each year, and since the
beginning of the  C2P2 program the
recycling rate for these materials
has increased from 32 to 40
percent. More than 51 million
tons were reused in  2007. C2P2
has set a goal of beneficially
reusing 50 percent by 2011.

Recycling coal combustion
byproducts not only saves
money and natural resources,
it also conserves energy  and
significantly reduces greenhouse
gas emissions. In 2007,  recycling
13.7 million tons of fly ash and
using  it in place of Portland
cement, saved nearly 73 trillion
BTUs  of energy, equivalent to the
annual energy consumption  of
more than 676,000  households.
Greenhouse gas emissions were
reduced by 12.4 million metric
tons of carbon dioxide equivalent,
about the same amount emitted
annually by 2.3 million cars.

WasteWise is one of OSWER's
oldest partnership programs,
and over the years it has proven
to be remarkably successful.
By the end of 2008, over
2,200 businesses, schools,
hospitals, local communities,
and government agencies had
joined WasteWise and begun
resource conservation practices
like recycling and  composting.
In 2007, partners reduced or
recycled 12.4 million tons of
waste, saving over 242 trillion
BTUs of energy and reducing
greenhouse gas emissions by
22 million metric tons  of carbon
dioxide  equivalent (about the
same as the annual greenhouse
gas emissions from four million
passenger vehicles). See http://
waste wise/index, htm.

Plug-In to eCyc/ing

The Plug-In to eCycling
program works with electronics
manufacturers, retailers,
recyclers, and communities  to
promote shared responsibility
for safe recycling  of electronics,
including televisions, computers,
and cell phones. Initiated in
2003, the program has grown
dramatically. In 2006, Plug-In
partners voluntarily recycled over
34 million pounds of electronics,
while in 2007 Plug-In to eCycling
partners recycled or reused over
47 million pounds of electronics.
The energy conserved through
the efforts of our Plug-In to
eCycling partners in 2007 was
equivalent to the annual GHG
emissions of nearly 24,000 cars.
Since the program's inception,
over 142 million pounds of
electronics have been  recycled
by the partners' collaborative
and voluntary efforts.  See

Plug-In partners have also been
instrumental in supporting
other EPA electronic recycling
initiatives. In January 2008,
OSWER launched a cell phone
recycling campaign at the
Consumer Electronics  Show in
Las Vegas. Throughout 2008,
print and radio public service
announcements promoting cell
phone recycling have been
distributed to the public. Plug-
In partners like AT&T, Best
Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola,
Nokia, Office Depot, Samsung,
Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples,
and T-Mobile have helped to
increase consumer awareness of
the ease and opportunities for
cell phone recycling. See http://

                                                                 SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                          A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
Responsible Recycler (R2)

As the first step in the adoption
of a commonly-accepted set of
responsible recycling practices for
used electronics, OSWER worked
with state governments, industry
organizations, and public interest
groups to develop the Responsible
Recycler (R2) Practices. These
recently released guidelines help
electronics recyclers ensure that
their materials are safely and
legally handled both domestically
and in foreign countries.

Specifically, the R2 Practices
are intended to be used by
accredited certification programs
to assess electronics recyclers'
environmental, worker health and
safety, and security practices.
These voluntary standards
include general principles
and specific practices for
recyclers.  See http://www.epa.
ec ycling/r2practices. h tm.

Recycle on the Go

Most Americans are aware of
recycling opportunities at  home
and in the workplace, but until a
few years ago recycling in public
locations like parks, convention
centers, sports stadiums,  and
shopping centers was rarely
practiced. The Recycle on the
Go Program, begun in 2006,
aims to change that.  OSWER
began the program by working
with the National Park Service
to recycle beverage containers
during the Cherry  Blossom Festival
in Washington, DC, and many
OSWER employees volunteered
to collect the containers. Since
then, the program has expanded
to the point where high-visibility
recycling is available  at the
National Football League's Pro
Bowl, at a number of major
league baseball stadiums, at
college football stadiums like Penn
State's Beaver Stadium, at city
parks like Seattle's Marymoor
Park, and at convention centers
like Pittsburgh's David Lawrence
Convention Center and San
Francisco's Mosconi Convention
Center. On this past Earth Day,
the EPA Administrator appeared
at Fenway Park in Boston to
present the Boston Red Sox with
an Environmental Merit Award for
—among other things —providing
their fans with the  opportunity
to recycle beverage containers.
conserve/rrr/rogo/index. h tm.

Mercury Switch Recovery

In order to keep the mercury
used in automobile light
switches from being released
to the environment when cars
are scrapped, EPA joined with
states, auto dismantlers, and
steel manufacturers to launch the
National Vehicle Mercury Switch
Recovery Program  (NVMSRP). In
2007, the NVMSRP reached one
of its strategic goals:  49 states
and the District of Columbia
initiated mercury switch recovery
programs, while the 50th state
has its own state program. By
the end of 2008, more than
7,000 car dismantlers and
shredders were participating
in the program, and more than
1.8 million switches containing
over two tons of mercury have
been recovered. See http://
National Partnership for
Environmental Priorities

The National Partnership for
Environmental Priorities (NPEP)
was established to reduce or
eliminate specific chemicals
in processes,  products, and
wastes. A set of 31  of the most
persistent, bioaccumulative, and
toxic chemicals were targeted for
reduced use, as were other toxic
chemicals of national concern.
To date, 212  partners, including
private companies, other federal
agencies, schools, communities,
and state and local governments,
have joined NPEP. In the past
four years (2004-2008), the
partners have eliminated more
than 9.2 million pounds of priority
chemicals and more  than 8.3
million pounds of other chemicals
of national concern.  NPEP partners
have committed to eliminating
an additional 9.7 million pounds
by 201 1. See http://www.epa.

National Lead-Free Wheel
Weight Initiative

In August 2008, EPA announced
the National Lead-Free Wheel
Weight Initiative. A significant
percentage of the 50 million
pounds of lead wheel weights
used in cars and light trucks each
year escape into the environment,
either when the weights fall off
tires and are washed into rivers
and lakes, or when hobbyists
melt down used wheel weights
at home. But with effective,
non-toxic alternatives available,
a broad national partnership
including manufacturers of tires,
tire weights, and automobiles,
distributors, retailers, tire service
shops, and federal and state
government agencies have
committed to phasing out the
use of lead wheel weights in
cars and light trucks by the
end of 2011.  See http://www. waste/hazard/

                                ENCOURAGE  VOLUNTARY EFFORTS
                                TO CLEAN  UP SITES
   Spurred by concerns over
       the cost of oil, global
     warming, water quality,
   and other linked economic
   and environmental issues,
          American families,
communities, and businesses
     are increasingly looking
   for ways to improve their
     environmental behavior.
 This "greening" of American
     society, which is being
     reported by the national
    media on an almost daily
       basis, is leading to an
      unprecedented level of
     voluntary action that is
    intended to clean up old
   environmental problems or
          prevent new ones.
       OSWER is seeing the
     benefits of the nation's
   increasing involvement in
     voluntary environmental
 action across all its cleanup
   programs. So for the past
      few years OSWER has
    made a concerted effort
   to encourage and support
 voluntary efforts  to clean up
         contaminated sites.

Voluntary Cleanup
Program MO As

Since the mid-1990s, EPA and
some states have entered into
non-binding Memoranda of
Agreement (MOAs) that promote
coordination and define general
federal and state roles and
responsibilities regarding the
voluntary cleanup of contaminated
sites. Over time these MOAs
have proven to be valuable in
accelerating voluntary cleanups
and land revitalization led by
state governments, because
they clarify EPA's enforcement
intentions at brownfield sites,
and provide the public with
confidence that EPA and the
state agency are coordinating
their cleanup activities.

Since 2004, seven states have
either revised existing MOAs or
signed new ones, bringing the
total number of states with MOAs
to 23.  Some of the states have
consolidated all their cleanup
activities across all programs
into a single MOA. In order to
encourage states to sign MOAs
and make it easier for them to do
so, last July OSWER put in place
an improved, streamlined process
for developing, negotiating,
and approving MOAs.
 Louden Village Tribe first Chief and
 EPA employees on the Yukon River
Support for State and
Tribal Response Programs

Since 2003, the Brownfields
program has provided almost
$300 million to state and tribal
cleanup programs in all 50
states, 65 tribal nations, and
four U.S. territories. The states
and tribes have been especially
active during the past two years.
Based on data from 2006 and
2007, OSWER estimates that
almost 19,000 sites totaling over
250,000 acres have been cleaned
up, with required institutional
controls  in place, through state
and tribal response  programs.

Besides the cleanup funding
provided to states and tribes,
OSWER has supported them
with information and technical
tools. For example,  OSWER
supported the Association
of State  and Territorial Solid
Waste Management Officials
(ASTSWMO) through  a
cooperative agreement that
facilitated the exchange  of
information about cleanup
techniques among states,
supported the development
of tools like the "Toolbox for
Cleanup  and Redevelopment
of Contaminated  Sites in Small
Cities and Rural Communities"
(March 2007), and  provided a
forum for an ongoing exchange
of views and information
among EPA and the states.

                                                                SETTING PRIORITIES:  ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                          A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
Non-liable parties —like non-profit
organizations—sometimes are
willing to clean up contaminated
sites in order to speed up
protection of the natural resources
at risk. In order to encourage
those "good Samaritans,"
EPA recently has issued policy
documents and technical
assistance tools that, among other
things, clarify the status of non-
liable  parties and help protect
them  from liability. See http://

So far, working closely with the
EPA Office of Water and Office
of Enforcement and Compliance
Assurance, OSWER has completed
one settlement agreement
with a "good Samaritan," and
has delineated policies that
may encourage others.
Mine-Scarred Lands

Beginning in 2004, OSWER
joined in a partnership with four
other federal agencies and the
Appalachian Regional Commission
to help six communities clean
up surrounding lands, waters,
and watersheds that had been
contaminated by minerals
mining or processing. These six
demonstration projects were
carried out in Nye County,
Nevada; Hazleton, Pennsylvania;
San Juan County, Colorado;
Kanawha County, West Virginia;
Summit County, Colorado;
and Lee County, Virginia.
The government partners
assisted the communities  by
collecting information, defining
responsibilities, coordinating
multi-stakeholder revitalization
assessments, and identifying
different sources of funding.
These projects provide models
that other communities can
use in cleaning up mine-scarred
lands. See http://www.epa.
go v/aml/re vital/msl/index. h tm.


Beginning  in 2003, EPA joined
with several other federal agency
partners to help communities
redevelop  contaminated lands
around port facilities. Three
port communities served as
pilots to help demonstrate how
intergovernmental collaboration
can assist communities in
both economic development
and environmental  protection.
The three  community pilots
were carried out in Bellingham,
Washington; Tampa,  Florida; and
New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The federal partners provided,
among other things, technical
assistance for dredging projects,
expertise in ship scrapping
and ballast water treatment,
assistance in streamlining permits,
hydrographic surveying, and
funding. These pilot projects,
which were completed in  2007,
provide models for how other
port communities can clean up
their harbors and strengthen
local economies. See http://
policy/portfields  2005.pdf.

                               STRENGTHEN OSWER
The first five priorities listed
  in the OSWER Action Plan
  emphasized activities that
 affect the world external to
  OSWER-e.g., the public,
  the environment, national
 security, and the economy.
  This last area of emphasis
     set priorities  for action
internally, action that would
affect OSWER"s employees,
    our internal management
     systems, the data and
information we provide, and
   our partners who help us
    fulfill our responsibilities.
         OSWERfs ability to
   provide public health and
  environmental services to
    the American people has
 always been dependent on
    the talent and dedication
    of its career employees,
    and on the management
    and information systems
they use in their daily work.
    The OSWER Action Plan
    placed a high priority on
   attracting highly-talented
 employees, retaining them,
 and improving the training,
    management tools, and
information systems needed
  to make them even better.
 Besides the skill of its own
 employees,  OSWER is also
    dependent in virtually all
    of its external activities
  on partnerships with other
    federal agencies, states,
  tribes, local governments,
and other stakeholders. The
Action Plan emphasized the
importance of strengthening
those partnerships as  a way
    of strengthening OSWER
OSWER Training Leads
In order to create a more unified
approach to training, OSWER has
established a group of training
leads comprised of managers
and employees representing  all
OSWER programs. This group
meets on a quarterly basis to
share information on initiatives
that affect OSWER training.
Two particularly high profile
initiatives include: 1) closing the
competency gaps identified in
OSWER's strategic workforce
action plan by targeting training
on those gaps; and 2) developing
OSWER's new on-line training
and development calendar.

Training and Development
For the first time, all OSWER
training and development
programs are now housed in one
place and easily accessible by all
OSWER employees through an
intranet Web site. It  is now easier
for employees not only to find out
about the training opportunities
available, but also to quickly
and easily register for them.
Diversity Training
For many years OSWER has
offered a number of diversity
learning experiences to increase
employee understanding of
diversity issues and improve their
ability to work effectively in a
diverse organization. In 2007,
OSWER strengthened those
efforts by a hosting a training
session entitled "M.E.E.T.  on
Common Ground." This session,
which emphasized the need to
"Make Time to  Discuss, Explore
Differences, gncourage Respect,
and Take Responsibility," was also
offered in July 2008. In addition,
in September 2007 an OSWER
training session on disability
sensitivity examined stereotypes
of common disabilities that helped
broaden employee understanding
of these disabilities and their
effects on disabled co-workers.
Because professional mentoring is
a useful way for an organization
to transfer knowledge and skills
among its employees and prepare
a new generation of leaders,
OSWER is working to build a
cadre of mentors at the senior
management level. In 2007, an
OSWER-wide group of managers
was formed to help strengthen
the mentoring culture within
OSWER by assessing mentoring
needs and better defining what
both mentors and mentees
expect from mentoring.

                                                               SETTING PRIORITIES: ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                         A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan

Web 2.0
Over the past year EPA's use
of the Web to disseminate
information both inside and
outside the Agency has expanded
considerably, and OSWER is
contributing regularly to several
different Agency-wide Internet
tools. For example, OSWER has
contributed a series of training
podcasts to the Clu-ln Web
site, and also developed three
podcasts about electronics
recycling. OSWER is also
contributing on a regular basis
to EPA's GreenScenes v-casts
and Greenversations blog, and
developing a recycling tips
widget. In  addition, OSWER
has added  Web links to press
releases to encourage the sharing
of information on blogs.

Geospatial Data Project
Some of the most useful
information now being
communicated to the public
over the Internet is related
to geography. Through the
Geospatial Data Project,
environmental information has
been made available to the
public in formats that can be
incorporated easily into virtual
mapping software such as
Google Earth and Microsoft
Virtual Earth. OSWER has
contributed data related to the
Superfund  and RCRA cleanup
sites, and data about the possible
use of contaminated lands
for renewable energy facility
siting was  made available to
Google Earth in August 2008.
OSWER's Performance
Assessment Tool

Last year OSWER began
development of a Performance
Assessment Tool (PAT) that
will contribute to a better
understanding of program
performance by organizing
information before it becomes an
official part of EPA reporting. The
PAT will replace a time-intensive
system of printouts and manual
data entry into spreadsheets. By
automating internal information
systems, OSWER will reduce
the time needed for preparation
of performance reports, reduce
the chances of errors being
generated during manual data
entry, and make the  data more
readily available to more people
in real time so, if necessary, mid-
course corrections can be made.
The first phase of the PAT will
be completed this year, and  the
entire system is expected to be
in place by the end of next year.
Segment Architecture

EPA has underway a long-
term effort to analyze ongoing
business practices in order to
identify and facilitate changes
in operations that improve
program performance and
enhance results for its customers.
As a part of this analysis of
segment architecture, OSWER
leads two major segments:
Land Quality and Emergency
Response. Recently OSWER
has emphasized modernizing
and reducing the costs of
its information technologies.
OSWER is modernizing the
system to take advantage of
new technologies that improve
information integration and
system interoperability, both of
which will improve access to
the information and data  quality.
OSWER is reducing costs by
leveraging Agency-wide tools
and services and reducing the
number of systems that must
be maintained. These steps
will help manage resources
and improve performance
across all OSWER programs.

A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan

Tribal Partnerships with
the UST Program

Because OSWER has the primary
responsibility for implementing the
UST program in Indian country,
partnerships with Native American
tribes are critically important for
success. Over the past few years,
several steps have been taken to
strengthen those partnerships,
as called for in the Action Plan.

In August 2006, OSWER
produced a UST-related tribal
strategy that resulted from the
combined efforts of  the UST
program and the tribes. The
strategy identified key issues
related to UST cleanups in Indian
country, and defined actions that
would strengthen the relationship
between EPA and the tribes,
improve information sharing, help
build tribal technical capacity, and
improve UST cleanups. OSWER
continues to work with tribes
to implement the strategy.

In May 2007, the first national
meeting of tribal leaders and EPA
was held to help identify tribal
issues, build collaboration, and
identify possible improvements
in the UST program  in Indian
country. A second national tribal
meeting was held in Rapid City,
South Dakota, in October 2008.
This kind of meeting is  intended to
be held regularly so  it builds closer
ties to tribes, while strengthening
mutual understanding.

Partnerships  to  Build Tribal

During this past year OSWER
completed a new framework
that will expand the ability of
Native American tribes to protect
the environment on  tribal lands.
This framework includes a new
OSWER tribal Web page that
is proving to be a useful tool
for sharing information with all
tribes, and the site is averaging
about 250 hits a month.

In addition, OSWER recently
published a tribal strategy that
lays out a detailed roadmap
for managing tribal programs
in partnership with tribes. This
strategy ties OSWER's tribal
commitments to EPA's overall
strategic goals, so performance
is now linked closely with how
well the OSWER/tribal partnership
performs. The tribal strategy
received significant input and
comment by tribes nationally.

To complete the new tribal
framework, OSWER has also
strengthened its internal ability
to manage tribal programs across
all EPA offices.  In 2007, OSWER
produced the EPA Tribal Snapshot,
which for the first time compiled
a comprehensive overview of the
scope, actions,  and direction of
all of EPA's tribal programs. The
snapshot will help EPA's senior
managers on the Indian  Program
Policy Council to make more
informed management decisions,
and it will stimulate further
analysis, strategic planning,
and action related to tribal
programs.  Furthermore, OSWER
established an  Interagency Solid
Waste Steering Committee to
better coordinate cross-agency
efforts related to solid waste
management in Indian country.

Environmental Justice

Following the devastating effects
on low-income and minority
communities caused by Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita, the National
Environmental Justice Advisory
Council  (NEJAC) presented
EPA with a report containing
recommendations on  how EPA
should prepare for and respond
to emergencies in such special-
needs communities in the future.
In response to  NEJAC's Gulf
Hurricanes Recommendations
Report, OSWER strengthened
the environmental justice
aspects of our emergency
response system, and included
those features in the Agency's
2009 Environmental Justice
Action Plan. NEJAC praised
OSWER's efforts to incorporate
their recommendations into the
emergency  response system, and
the partnership will be stronger in
future emergencies because of it.

Partnerships with the

Some of  OSWER's most
important partners in terms of site
cleanups are the members of the
Association of State and Territorial
Solid Waste Management
Officials (ASTSWMO). OSWER
recently strengthened its
partnership with ASTSWMO by
reinstituting the Senior Cleanup
Council (SCO, which is made
up of about 20 people, in most
instances OSWER's deputy
office directors and ASTSWMO's
subcommittee chairs. The major
goal of the  SCC is to improve
cross-program communication,
understanding, and coordination
in order to promote better
long-term stewardship of
contaminated sites.

In addition to the  SCC, OSWER
is also working more closely
with ASTSWO through mutual
inclusion  of each other's
staff in important policy-
setting meetings.  For instance,
representatives to its annual
Board of  Directors meetings, and
OSWER now includes state and
tribal representatives in  meetings
with regional division directors.

                                                          SETTING PRIORITIES:  ACHIEVING RESULTS
                                                    A Report On Progress Under The OSWER Action Plan
                               As this report summarizes, over the past several years OSWER
                               has made substantial progress in the six priority areas defined
                               in the OSWER Action Plan. Everyone who works in OSWER
                               contributed to this progress, and everyone should be proud of
                               these accomplishments.

                               The future undoubtedly will bring new challenges and new
                               priorities for action. OSWER already is seeing events across the
                               globe that are likely to  affect OSWER's programs in ways both
                               subtle and dramatic. For instance, the recent contractions in the
                               global and domestic economies, together with the corresponding
                               sharp declines in virtually all commodity prices, are affecting
                               material recycling and reuse  rates, which may cause the
                               development of new incentives to support this country's ongoing
                               recycling efforts. And the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai, India,
                               has shown that preparedness and response programs will have to
                               evolve to  meet evolving terrorist tactics and technologies.

                               Yet the six priorities defined in OSWER's Action Plan are likely
                               to remain priorities for  the foreseeable future. Site restoration,
                               homeland security, improved regulations, resource stewardship,
                               voluntary programs, and a talented, well-trained workforce:
                               these are  the strategic  underpinnings of all OSWER's programs.
                               Continued progress in each of these areas will be critically
                               important to OSWER's future success.

United States                                                             Office of Solid Waste                                                       EPA-500-R-09-001
Environmental Protection                                                   and Emergency                                                            January 2009
Agency                                                                  Response (5105T)