When Congress reauthorized the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1984 a corrective action requirement was added to Subtitle C of the law. Corrective Action is the process through which areas of a facility which could have received hazardous waste are evaluated and if necessary are cleaned up. These Areas of Concern (AOC) could be any area which has received, at any time, solid or hazardous waste through deliberate placement of the waste or because of an accidental release or spill. These areas can be identified through several means and are often referred to as Solid Waste Management Units (SWMU). Once identified they must be evaluated to determine whether or not they present a threat to human health or the environment.
Since 1984, EPA and authorized states have made considerable progress in implementing the Corrective Action requirements. Despite the progress made, states, environmental groups, and the regulated community have raised concerns, including: slow progress in achieving cleanup or other environmental results; an emphasis on process and reports over actual work in the field; unrealistic, impractical or overly conservative cleanup goals; and lack of meaningful public participation.
Because of various reasons raised by many stakeholders, the Agency believes that it is time for a fundamental re-evaluation of its Corrective Action Program. Region 5 also re-evaluated its Corrective Action Program, which is described in the Region 5 RCRA Cleanup Reforms.
While the ultimate goal of Corrective Action is to achieve final cleanups, we measure the near-term success of the program and reforms against the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals and annual cleanup targets for getting current human exposures controlled and migration of contaminated groundwater under control to minimize risk. Measuring and recording our progress toward these goals will be a top priority for EPA and the States over the next several years.
EPA developed a RCRA Cleanup Baseline in conjunction with the states as a result of a mandate in the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requiring EPA to measure and track program progress. There are 399 facilities on the Region 5 RCRA 2008 GPRA Baseline (PDF) (21 pp, 59K About PDF)
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