Enforcement

RCRA Corrective Action Enforcement Considerations

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EPA considers the following elements listed below when using enforcement to achieve facility cleanups under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Meaningful public participation EPA policy encourages public involvement early and often in the permitting process and cleanup programs. Chapter 4 of the RCRA Public Participation Manual (PDF)
Environmental Justice factors Environmental Justice is a high priority for the Agency. EPA gathers information about specific areas to identify EJ concerns and issues at RCRA corrective action facilities. EPA's EJ website contains additional information.
Coordinating cleanup programs When RCRA and Superfund cleanups are related EPA coordinates the two cleanup programs to eliminate duplication of effort and streamline cleanup processes. EPA encourages close coordination among RCRA, Superfund, and state/tribal cleanup programs. Where appropriate, EPA uses Superfund tools to support RCRA corrective action and increase the speed of cleanups.
Expediting cleanup EPA's enforcement approach depends on facility-specific circumstances, including the size and urgency of the threats, and the cooperation of the involved parties. EPA's Enforcement Approaches for Expediting RCRA Corrective Action
Brownfields redevelopment

In some circumstances, EPA can provide a Notice of Liability letter (“comfort letter” or “status letter”) to purchasers or developers of property that may have RCRA cleanup liability potential. Such letters are provided solely for informational purposes and relate only to EPA's RCRA corrective action enforcement intentions at a property based on known information. The February 5, 2001, Comfort/Status Letters for RCRA Brownfields Properties is the model for the RCRA effort.

The Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) is an agreement not to file a lawsuit against a purchaser of property that was contaminated prior to the purchase. Initially, PPAs were done only at sites where Superfund was the legal authority if cleanup was necessary, but EPA will considersite-specific circumstances to determine if a PPA is appropriate for use at a particular RCRA site. To date, EPA has entered into only a few RCRA PPAs. The April 8, 2003, Memorandum on Prospective Purchaser Agreements and Other Tools to Facilitate Cleanup and Reuse of RCRA Sites  provides factors that should be used to evaluate a request for a RCRA PPA.

Learn more: Types of corrective action enforcement