EPA's Guidance for Implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program at Closing or Realigning Bases
- 1.0 Background
- 2.0 Purpose and Scope
- 3.0 Fast Track Cleanup Program Implementation
- 4.0 Potential Cleanup Acceleration Methods
- 5.0 Conclusion
- 6.0 Use of This Guidance
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
FEB 16 1996
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Transmittal of EPA's Guidance for Implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program at Closing or Realigning Bases
Timothy Fields, Jr.
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Regional RCRA and Superfund Policy Managers
Regions I - X
Regional Counsel, Office of Regional Counsel
Regions I - X
This memorandum transmits EPA's final "Guidance for Implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program at Closing or Realigning Military Bases."
In particular, this guidance:
Describes the statutory framework for the Fast Track Cleanup Program;
Addresses EPA roles and responsibilities under the Fast Track Cleanup Program;
Establishes accountability for resources provided to EPA by the Department of Defense (DoD) under the Fast Track Cleanup Program Memorandum of Understanding;
Establishes guidelines for coordination and interaction with DoD and state counterparts, Restoration Advisory Boards, and Local Redevelopment Authorities; and,
Suggests methods for accelerating cleanups and effectively implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program.
This guidance is based on the experience gained in implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program over the last two plus years, as well as on specific comments received. In keeping with the spirit of the Fast Track Cleanup Program, its development represents a real team effort, and we appreciate the input from the Regions.
If you or your staff have any questions about this guidance please call Linda Rutsch at 202-260-1270, or your Regional coordinator in the Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office.
Patricia Rivers, DoD
Tad McCall, USAF
Elsie Munsell, DoN
Raymond Fatz, DoA
ASTSWMO Base Closures Task Force
Barry Breen, FFEO
Larry Starfield, OGC
Steve Luftig, OERR
Jerry Clifford, OSRE
Jim Woolford, FFRRO
Regional BRAC Contacts
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office Washington, D.C. 20460
Guidance for Implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program at Closing or Realigning Military Bases
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Pursuant to Congressional mandate, numerous military bases are undergoing realignment or complete closure with the potential for severe economic impacts on the affected local communities. A five-part program to mitigate economic dislocation and speed economic recovery of communities near military bases scheduled for realignment or closure was announced by President Clinton on July 2, 1993. Rapid redevelopment and job creation are the top goals of this community reinvestment program, commonly referred to as the "Five Point Plan". The program calls for the Federal Government to give priority to local economic redevelopment, provide transition and redevelopment assistance to workers and communities, put cleanup on a fast-track, provide transition coordinators at major bases scheduled for closure or substantial realignment, and allocate more funds for economic development planning grants.
The "Fast Track Cleanup Program" is an essential component of the President's Five Point Plan. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the states are charged with creating a working partnership to implement the Fast Track Cleanup Program with the objectives of "quickly identifying clean parcels for early reuse, selecting for appropriate leasing parcels where cleanup is underway, and hastening cleanup."
The following background sections, 1.1 - 1.3, describe key aspects of the Fast Track Cleanup Program as announced by the President in July, 1993. The use of the word "will" repeatedly in the announcement reflects the commitment of the Administration to the revitalization of affected communities. Guidance for EPA implementation of the Fast Track Cleanup Program, based on over two years of experience, follows.
1.1 Establishing Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Cleanup Teams
Environmental experts from EPA, DoD, and the State, working as a BRAC Cleanup Team, will be assigned to BRAC bases. Decision making authority will be placed at the lowest practical level within each organization and members of the team will be empowered to make decisions to expedite the process. The teams will conduct "bottom-up" reviews of the environmental conditions of the base, with the objective of accelerating cleanup while integrating base reuse priorities.
1.2 Making Parcels Available for Reuse
A key element of the Fast Track Cleanup Program is to make parcels available for reuse as quickly as possible, either by transfer of uncontaminated or remediated parcels or lease of contaminated parcels where there is no unacceptable risk to public health and the environment from the planned use of the property. Coordination between the cleanup efforts and reuse efforts is a key factor in making parcels available for reuse. Parcels with potential for reuse will be identified as early in the process as possible and given priority in the cleanup process as appropriate.
1.3 Accelerating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process
DoD is required to apply NEPA during the process of property disposal and reuse. Under NEPA, DoD must define the environmental impact of the proposed reuse, document adverse effects that cannot be avoided, and identify alternatives to the proposed action. The NEPA process and all documents required by NEPA (scoping report, draft Environmental Impact Statement and final Environmental Impact Statement) will be completed within 12 months from the date a community submits its final reuse plan.
2.0 Purpose and Scope
This document establishes implementation guidance for EPA support of the President's Fast Track Cleanup Program. It applies to bases identified by DoD as Fast Track Cleanup locations. Fast Track Cleanup locations are locations being closed or realigned under the Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1988 (P.L 100-526) (BRAC I) or the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (P.L 101-510) (BRAC II, III, and IV) where there is environmental contamination, that may or may not be on the National Priorities List (NPL), and where property will be available for transfer to the community.
In particular, this guidance:
Describes the statutory framework for the Fast Track Cleanup Program
Addresses EPA roles and responsibilities under the Fast Track Cleanup Program
Establishes accountability for resources provided to EPA by DoD under the Fast Track Cleanup Program Memorandum of Understanding
Establishes guidelines for coordination and interaction with DoD and state counterparts, Restoration Advisory Boards, (RABs), and Local Redevelopment Authorities, and
Suggests methods for accelerating cleanups and effectively implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program
The scope of this guidance includes environmental cleanup programs and activities that support the lease or transfer of real property at Fast Track Cleanup locations under statutes, regulations, and other authorities including, but not limited to, the following:
Base Realignment and Closure Acts: Provide for closing and realigning of military installations based on revised force structure needs. Selection of bases occurred in 1988 (BRAC I), 1991 (BRAC II), 1993 (BRAC III) and 1995 (BRAC IV).
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA): Mandates the restoration of all facilities where hazardous substances have been released and present a threat to public health and the environment. DoD is responsible for the restoration of all facilities that it has owned or operated where hazardous substances from its operations have been released into the environment, as well as those facilities where hazardous substances from its operations have come to be located. CERCLA section 120(h) contains provisions which impact the transfer or lease of federally owned property based on storage, disposal, or known release of hazardous substances. All contracts for transfer or lease must include notice of this storage, disposal or release. Under CERCLA section 120(h)(3), transfers of certain property by deed must also include a covenant by the United States that all remedial action necessary to protect human health and the environment has been taken prior to transfer, a covenant by the United States to undertake any further remedial action found to be necessary after transfer, and a clause granting access to the transferred property in case remedial action or corrective action is found to be necessary after transfer.
Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act (CERFA): CERFA amends CERCLA section 120 in an effort to facilitate base closure and reuse; however, it also affects a broad range of federal real property transfers. CERFA requires that DoD identify "uncontaminated parcels." For BRAC I and BRAC II bases on the NPL, the identification by DoD and concurrence by EPA was to be completed within 18 months of CERFA's enactment, i.e,. April 19, 1994. For property on military bases designated for closure under BRAC III, the identification and concurrence was to be completed by March 27, 1995. For property on military bases designated for closure under BRAC IV, the identification and concurrence is due to be completed by March 1997. While the mandated period for these installations to identify parcels as uncontaminated expired or expires on certain dates, the obligation to obtain concurrence continues beyond these dates.
Under CERCLA section 120(h)(4), uncontaminated parcels are those "on which no hazardous substances and no petroleum products or their derivatives were stored for one year or more, known to have been released, or disposed of." EPA issued guidance on the implementation of CERCLA section 120(h)(4) on April 19, 1994 entitled, "Military Base Closures: Guidance on EPA Concurrence in the Identification of Uncontaminated Parcels under CERCLA Section 120(h)(4)." The guidance allows, in certain cases, for parcels to be identified as uncontaminated although some limited quantity of hazardous substances or petroleum products has been stored, released or disposed of, if there is no indication that the activity associated with the storage, release, or disposal has resulted in a threat to human health or the environment.
For parcels requiring remediation, CERFA clarifies CERCLA section 120(h)(3) to allow transfer by deed at the point when the successful operation of an approved remedy has been demonstrated to EPA.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): Closing installations may be subject to facility-wide corrective action under the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) as well as to closure of RCRA regulated units under 40 CFA Parts 264 and 265. In those states that do not have authorized Corrective Action programs under HSWA, EPA is responsible for the oversight/enforcement of corrective action by the owner/operator of the facility.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Although the decision to close or realign installations is not subject to NEPA, DoD is required to follow NEPA requirements during the process of property disposal and during the process of relocating functions from one installation to another. Under Section 309 of the Clean Air Act, EPA reviews all NEPA documentation. In addition, EPA will in some cases be a cooperating Agency in the preparation of NEPA documents.
The Agency's role in supporting the Fast Track Cleanup Program will be carried out concurrently with its responsibility under various statutes and other authorities to ensure compliance with requirements that protect human health and the environment. However, Agency enforcement actions, such as issuing unilateral orders under RCRA, CERCLA, or other environmental statutes, will not be funded by the Fast Track Cleanup resources provided by DoD.
3.0 Fast Track Cleanup Program Implementation
3.1 EPA Roles and Responsibilities
To support the Fast Track Cleanup Program effectively, EPA Headquarters and the Regions will work together to carry out the general roles and specific responsibilities described in the following sections. EPA Regional personnel who support Fast Track Cleanup will be managed by the Regional offices and will be accountable to Regional Waste Management Division Directors (or equivalent) and, ultimately, to the National Program Manager in the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER).
3.1.1 The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER)
The Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) within OSWER is responsible for working with the OSWER Senior Budget Officer to develop the workload and funding allocation for Fast Track resources and develop the Agency policy and guidance, in conjunction with Regional programs, for EPA's implementation of the Fast Track Cleanup Program. FFRRO works with the OSWER Senior Budget Officer to receive the Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) Budget Division approval to distribute Regional workyears and funding. Regional allocation and accounting for BRAC workyears are overseen by OARM, Office of the Comptroller, Budget Division in coordination with OSWER's Senior Budget Officer.
In addition, FFRRO will coordinate internally with other Headquarters offices, including the Federal Facilities Enforcement Office, and with the Regions, as EPA implements the Fast Track Cleanup Program. FFRRO will review and comment on Regional Fast Track Implementation Plans submitted by the Regional Division Directors with overall BRAC responsibility. FFRRO will monitor progress, provide technical assistance, provide training, assist Regions with problem resolution, and work to ensure national consistency in the implementation of the program.
FFRRO is also responsible for external communications regarding EPA's implementation of Fast Track Cleanup. FFRRO will provide a compilation of the Regional bimonthly reports to DoD on program progress and issues of national concern. Also, FFRRO will interact with DoD and Congress on national policy and legislative issues and coordinate activities with various state groups (e.g., the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO)). The Assistant Administrator for OSWER, or his designee, represents EPA on the Defense Environmental Response Task Force, a Congressionally mandated interagency task force that examines environmental issues associated with the cleanup and reuse of BRAC installations to identify and recommend ways to expedite and improve environmental response actions.
3.1.2 Regional Management
EPA Regional Waste Management Divisions (or equivalent), state environmental regulatory agencies, and DoD, will form a BRAC Cleanup Team (BCT) for each Fast Track location. The BCT will serve as the primary forum in which issues affecting the execution of cleanup to facilitate reuse will be addressed.
EPA's Regional representative on the BCT is the Remedial Project Manager (RPM). The RPM designated for each Fast Track Cleanup location or locations will have the substantive responsibilities and implementation authorities for EPA's technical assistance, guidance, and oversight of environmental cleanup programs related to the transfer of the Fast Track Cleanup location's real property. The RPM should have experience and grade commensurate with the senior-level responsibilities of the position. The Region should consider factors such as the status and complexity of the cleanup program at the Fast Track Cleanup location, requests for support from the base and/or the State, the impact of the closure on the community, and the potential for economic reuse, in determining whether to dedicate an RPM to a Fast Track Cleanup location or assign an RPM to more than one location. It is anticipated that Regions will assign a dedicated RPM to Fast Track locations on the NPL; however, there may be factors that lead a Region to decide that a greater or lesser degree of support is necessary. The Region should consider input from the military services and states in making these decisions.
The EPA RPM will be supported by a team of EPA experts that will work across Fast Track Cleanup locations, depending upon the needs at a particular location at a given time. The EPA support team will include experts in such areas as hydrogeology; health risk assessment and toxicology, ecological risk assessment, engineering, community relations, field work support (sampling and site assessment), and clean parcel identification. Administrative, management, NEPA, and legal support will also be provided to address regulatory complexities and policy issues.
The EPA RPM and the support team should be empowered to make decisions locally to the maximum extent possible. EPA has delegated Fast Track Cleanup related authorities to the Regional Administrators (RAs), i.e., delegation 14-39, "Concurrence on Identification of Uncontaminated Federal Real Property," and 14-40, "Evaluation of Approved Remedial Design". The RAs have in turn redelegated the authorities to lower levels within their organizations. To the extent practicable, these authorities should be delegated to the lowest level in the organization. Regional BRAC personnel should be familiar with their internal delegation of authorities. Should the need arise, the RPM and support team will have the ability to raise issues immediately to senior EPA Regional or Headquarters officials for resolution.
Specific Regional responsibilities inherent to carrying out the Fast Track Cleanup Program include:
Identifying the RPM and other members of the support team and notifying OSWER of those individual's names and addresses, as well as any changes
Delegating to the lowest practical level, authority and responsibility for the review and approval of all environmental restoration activities, including those related to the transfer of real property within a BRAC Cleanup Plan (BCP)
Ensuring that all RPMs are adequately trained to execute their responsibilities
Applying the joint DoD/EPA guidelines for establishing and operating RABs. The guidelines emphasize the need for the RAB to be representative of all community interests. Special care should be taken to consider community diversity and environmental justice
Ensuring that resources (e.g., technical, legal expertise) are available to the RPM and developing a means for ensuring that resources allocated are being used for Fast Track Cleanup
Developing a Regional Fast Track Cleanup Implementation Plan addressing in particular, the allocation of, and method of accounting for, Fast Track-dedicated resources; provision of technical/scientific and other support to the RPM; and, prioritization of staff activities
Providing regular reporting to OSWER, including timely elevation of issues of national importance
Assisting FFRRO and DoD, where requested, in developing national Fast Track Cleanup Program policies and guidances
3.1.3 The Remedial Project Manager
The success of the Fast Track Cleanup Program is largely dependent on the BRAC Cleanup Team. RPMs should work with the rest of the BCT in a spirit of partnership to expedite cleanup and integrate cleanup with potential reuse options. The BRAC Cleanup Team approach is a different way of doing business - it breaks the traditional model for site cleanup. The RPM and the EPA support team, along with the State counterparts, bring a cadre of in-house technical and legal experts to support the BCTs. This leads to real-time decision making, reduction in documents, and identification of innovative ways to accomplish faster cleanup. It is essential that the BCT and the RPM, in particular, identify and take advantage of all opportunities for "in-process" reviews to resolve (or elevate, for resolution) critical path technical and/or administrative issues before they become impediments to cleanup and reuse. The BCT should look for opportunities to save time and avoid costs throughout the process, including effective use of contractor resources, scoping, and sequencing of work. The BCT should also be prepared to document time savings and cost avoidance biannually so that the success of the program can be demonstrated to stakeholders and to support DoD in their program and budget justification to Congress. For example, FFRRO provided information to the Defense Environmental Response Task Force (DERTF) on time savings and cost avoidance attributable to the BCT approach, based on information gathered from the EPA Regions. This information was included as an appendix to the 1995 DERTF Annual Report to Congress and is found in the Appendix to this guidance.
In conjunction with other members of the BCT, the RPM conducts a "bottom up" review of the environmental conditions of the base, including any ongoing environmental cleanup. The "bottom up" review includes an evaluation of the existing environmental programs, such as the Installation Restoration Program, Closure Related Compliance Program, and the Asbestos Program, to identify opportunities for acceleration of cleanup in order to expedite conveyance of property.
The product of this review is a BRAC Cleanup Plan (BCP), which is the road map for expeditious cleanup necessary to facilitate conveyance of property to communities for redevelopment, and should be considered a living document. The BCP is a phased plan that encapsulates and prioritizes requirements, schedules, and costs of the environmental programs to be implemented by the BCT to facilitate cleanup, reuse and redevelopment of the base.
For sites with existing Federal Facility Agreements (FFAs), Interagency Agreements (IAGs), HSWA permits or similar cleanup agreements or orders, the RPM may, as appropriate, review and, in accordance with the terms of the agreements, renegotiate schedule changes to accelerate cleanup consistent with the terms of the agreement. The RPM should be willing to negotiate accelerated schedules or re-prioritize cleanup (CERCLA, HSWA) actions, balancing considerations of risk to human health and the environment, cost effectiveness, timeliness, and reuse, and should encourage the states to do the same, where appropriate.
Community involvement efforts are an integral part of the Fast Track Program. In addition to an EPA RPM's work on the BCT with DoD and the State, RPMs may also interact with community stakeholders around the Fast Track location. To increase public participation in its cleanup program, DoD forms Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs) at Fast Track Cleanup locations. A RAB provides community members with an opportunity to learn about the cleanup, review documents, and advise decision makers on cleanup and priority setting issues. Fast Track locations also have Local Redevelopment Authorities which give the community a role in reuse decisions. It is important to seek, not merely allow, meaningful participation by affected people and communities of color and other historically disempowered stakeholders.
Local governments play several important roles in the cleanup process. They are often the first responder in emergency response situations, they generally have responsibility for land use determinations within their jurisdictions, and they have a general duty to protect the economic and social well being of their citizens. Local governments participate in the Fast Track Cleanup program through direct inter-government consultations and on advisory bodies such as the RABs and Local Redevelopment Authorities.
Specific RPM responsibilities (with EPA support team assistance as appropriate) for successfully carrying out the Fast Track Cleanup Program include the following:
Providing assistance to DoD, and to the states, in implementing all environmental cleanup programs related to closure in an expeditious and cost effective manner in accordance with the BCP
Supporting up-front planning and scoping
In conjunction with the other members of the BCT, conducting a "bottom-up" review of the environmental programs and developing and updating the BCP, as appropriate
Jointly preparing and reviewing documents, such as the sampling and analysis plan, baseline risk assessment, the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study, proposed plan, record of decision, remedial design, remedial action plan, study and sampling data
Negotiating appropriate cleanup and abatement actions with DoD and state BCT members
Supporting the NEPA review process
Participating, in conjunction with the BCT members, as a member of the community's Restoration Advisory Board reviewing environmental matters (e.g., cleanup schedules and priorities, cleanup actions and levels, reports to community leaders on cleanup progress and/or possible impediments to a lease or conveyance)
Coordinating and exchanging cleanup and reuse information, in conjunction with the BCT members, with the Local Redevelopment Authority (through the Base Transition Coordinator, where appropriate)
Evaluating and providing timely recommendations and guidance to EPA Regional management to expedite approval/concurrence regarding:
DoD proposals for changes to existing cleanup agreements, orders, and other environmental procedures to achieve timely and cost effective cleanup
Proposed Plans and Records of Decision for cleanup actions under CERCLA
Decision documents for corrective actions related to cleanup under applicable state laws, regulations and programs
HSWA corrective action selections and preparation of statement of Basis/Final Decision andResponse to Comments Summary
Working with DoD and the State participants on the BCT to collectively formulate and review components of:
The installation's Environmental Baseline Survey
Uncontaminated parcel determinations under CERFA, and
Finding of Suitability to Lease and Finding of Suitability to Transfer to accelerate revitalization through reuse
Reviewing construction requested by lessee with the BCT and ensuring that such construction will not interfere with the environmental cleanup program
Reviewing demonstration by DoD that remedy is operating properly and successfully
The above list is not exhaustive, nor does the order indicate any kind of ranking or priority.
3.2 Resource Framework
Beginning in FY 1994, DoD provided EPA, via an interagency funding agreement, with reimbursable resources to support EPA's Fast Track Cleanup Program activities. DoD, EPA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) worked together to develop the details of this agreement, which included 100 workyears for EPA and $7 million starting in FY 1994 (the FY 1995 budget was 100 workyears and $8.4 million). The current interagency funding agreement for BRAC rounds I, II, III, and IV extends from FY 1996-2001.
The majority of EPA's Fast Track workyears are allocated to the Regional programs. Regional personnel provide technical assistance and guidance to DoD and states at Fast Track Cleanup locations. EPA uses Base Closure funding for EPA personnel that participate on BCTs as either the EPA designated team member or as technical experts and support personnel that assist the teams. EPA utilizes in-house expertise; no BRAC funds can be used for contractor support.
Regions are allocated workyears, and personnel costs, travel and administrative funding via a workload model jointly agreed upon by all Regions. The level of EPA support varies depending on regional and base specific circumstances. (EPA's base closure workload model takes into account relevant data to assess the environmental condition and economic status of a Fast Track location).
The Agency monitors these DoD reimbursable resources via the Office of the Comptroller's Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) which tracks Headquarters and Regional expenditures separately for each BRAC round. EPA utilizes site specific charging to track resource utilization directly to actual sites and site work. EPA also tracks non-site work that is performed to support the Fast Track Program. Accounting for EPA use of DoD's BRAC funds is required by the nature of BRAC appropriations and the BRAC legislation. EPA reports quarterly to DoD and annually to OMB on their utilization. (EPA's Office of the Comptroller, Financial Management Division, Cincinnati, Ohio invoices DoD on actual program obligations incurred by EPA.)
EPA Headquarters receives regular program activity reports from the Regional offices, every two months, on the progress of work at all Fast Track locations. These reports are generated by the EPA Regional BCT personnel and provide EPA Headquarters and DoD with pertinent program and personnel information related to cleanup and reuse. EPA's Office of the Comptroller, Budget Division also provides to the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response's (OSWER) Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO) a monthly "BRAC Utilization Report" generated from IFMS. This IFMS report details the status of expenditures by the Regional Base Closure program, which includes workyears, personnel, travel and administrative funding. This reporting is done for overall program management and to track resource expenditures in each BRAC round. Regional Waste Management Division Directors (or equivalent) will be provided with summaries of this information and will be expected to monitor the use of all BRAC resources within their respective Region.
3.2.1 Accountability for Resources
The following information is provided to all EPA personnel involved with the administration of the Fast Track Cleanup Program to ensure appropriate use and management of the DoD reimbursable resources.
BRAC workyears and funding must be used only for EPA staff and related costs associated with military base closure activities. BRAC funding cannot be used for contract work. Military Base Closure activities are activities related to Fast Track Cleanup of specific locations identified by the military services and DoD, in consultation with OSWER and the states. Before approaching a location as a Fast Track location, please confirm its status as such with EPA Headquarters. Activities at Fast Track locations include those detailed in this guidance such as accelerating the identification of uncontaminated parcels under CERFA; development of BRAC Cleanup Plans; promoting community involvement in cleanup decision-making; preparing and reviewing site documents; studying and sampling field data; NEPA review and analysis; assisting DoD or states with Fast Track Cleanup location issues; and, support activities related to the performance of the EPA personnel participating in Fast Track Cleanup. These activities are outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and DoD dated February 3, 1994, and, subsequent memorandums and guidances related to EPA BRAC resources.
As the signatory and executing agent for the reimbursable agreement with DoD, the Assistant Administrator for OSWER will rely on Regional Administrators, and, as the primary focus of the EPA BRAC resources, the Waste Management Division Directors (or equivalent) to ensure reimbursable costs are accurate and appropriate. Each Region should identify an individual in the Waste Management Division (or equivalent) who will coordinate and monitor the Regional BRAC program and resources, and who can act as a day-to-day liaison with OSWER and DoD. The FFRRO within OSWER will periodically provide the Assistant Administrator of OSWER with programmatic and financial reviews, of specific Regions. Reprogrammings of funds submitted to the EPA Headquarters Office of the Comptroller require notification of FFRRO for their approval.
Headquarters and Regional personnel utilizing BRAC resources should receive authorization from their appropriate EPA Headquarters or Regional senior management and use the established BRAC budget Program Elements (PEs). Specific PEs were created in order to closely track costs reimbursed by DoD. Congress created separate appropriations for each round of Base Closures and EPA is required by DoD to track funds based on each round of the base closings (BRAC I, II, III, and IV). In order to facilitate this tracking system EPA created, via its Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), specific accounts for each base covered by this reimbursable agreement with DoD. Each Region is responsible for ensuring costs are accurately tracked to each base covered by the reimbursable agreement.
EPA's Military Base Closure budget Program Elements (PEs) include: RS4Y9A (BRAC I funding which expired September 30, 1995); RS5Y9A (BRAC II funding); RP9Y9A (BRAC III funding); RY6Y9A (BRAC IV funding); and RS6Y9A (non-site funding). Personnel expenses, travel, and other program costs should be accurately recorded and, where appropriate, site-specific charging should be done. BRAC site specific charging should be used to fund personnel costs, travel, training, computers, site related equipment, protective clothing, and assistance at a designated Fast Track Cleanup location. BRAC non-site specific charging should be used for general BRAC program costs associated with administrative support and equipment, and may include telephones, computers, and other equipment necessary to support BCTs.
EPA Regions are required to set aside from each BRAC round funding (each BRAC PE) an equivalent percentage of the initial operating plan for the non-site cost PE (RS6Y9A). For example, a Region that has funds in only BRAC II and III may choose to reprogram 10% each of the BRAC II and BRAC III funds the Region has in the initial operating plan. By reprogramming funds in equal proportions from each BRAC PE, the Agency will ensure that each BRAC PE will share an equal share of the non-site costs (as overhead costs should be distributed). The integrity of the equal proportions must be maintained throughout the fiscal year. The Regional Waste Management Division (or equivalent) should determine what proportion of the BRAC program for non-site costs is most appropriate, but it must not exceed 30% without permission of the Director of FFRRO and the Budget Director of the Office of the Comptroller.
The non-site PE should be used judiciously. EPA and DoD senior management made a commitment to minimize overhead costs in the overall BRAC cleanup program. To the maximum extent possible, EPA's costs under the reimbursable agreement should be directly attributable to the specific bases covered by the Fast Track Cleanup Program. Personnel, travel, equipment and other expenses should be charged directly to the site specific accounts established for these bases. For example, if a computer is purchased specifically for an EPA staff person assigned to one or two bases exclusively, then the costs of. that computer should be charged to base specific accounts in an appropriate proportional manner. This procedure should also be applied for other costs such as annual and sick leave, training, etc. Supervisors, attorneys and technical experts that work at numerous bases should make every effort to account for their time based on the specific bases they are working with. For example, an attorney that spends three hours one day reviewing documents related to one base should charge those three hours to the base specific account on their time sheets. However it is recognized that EPA personnel also work on non-site specific activities that provide benefits to the Fast Track Cleanup Program. For example, a Regional representative who responds to EPA Headquarters' requests to review DoD guidance documents or is working on a crosscutting issue that concerns a dozen or more bases, should charge his or her time to the non-site PE.
BRAC resources cannot be used to fund enforcement actions nor can they be used to support contractors.
The required bi-monthly reports that the Regions send OSWER should include a summary of the individuals who work with the particular bases (EPA, DoD, and State) including the EPA staff that support the EPA RPMs and BCTs at the bases. While this list need not be exhaustive, OSWER should be able to refer to the list in order to determine who (including their job title) is working with the base. The Regional bimonthly reports are also required to outline detailed base specific reports that should include programmatic issues. The bimonthly reports are compiled by FFRRO and provided to DoD.
OSWER will provide DoD a summary of the BRAC program financial status on a quarterly basis.
4.0 Potential Cleanup Acceleration Methods
EPA, DoD, and the states have identified a number of potential measures to be considered for accelerating cleanups and effectively implementing the Fast Track Cleanup Program. These include:
Joint, up-front scoping of projects
Concurrent review of documents
In-person review of comments and resolution of issues
Interim remedial actions and non-time critical removal actions to eliminate "hot spots"
Recognizing parity between CERCLA remedial actions and RCRA corrective actions
Cleanup standards based on existing and reasonably anticipated uses of property
Coordination and communication between environmental restoration and reuse planning
Improved technology transfer; reviewing technology for application of expedited solutions
Using improved contracting procedures
Identifying opportunities for application of presumptive remedies, and
Using innovative management, coordination, and communication techniques (e.g., partnering)
It is essential to the success of the Fast Track Cleanup Program that these and other opportunities for accelerating cleanup are used in all appropriate cases in order to make property available for reuse as quickly as possible.
The timely reutilization of Fast Track Cleanup locations is essential if the economic consequences to the community of losing military and civilian jobs is to be minimized. EPA provides in-house environmental expertise to streamline and accelerate the cleanup process. EPA's participation results in a more effective and economical restoration of Fast Track Cleanup locations that will minimize the negative economic impact of military downsizing on the local community, while protecting human health and the environment. EPA will work with DoD, the states and the local community to systematically integrate property transfer priorities into the existing cleanup program. Through participation in the Fast Track Cleanup Program, EPA will assist in expediting the disposal and restoration of closing military bases to safe and productive use as soon as possible while fulfilling its mandate to protect human health and the environment.
6.0 Use of This Guidance
This guidance and procedures established in this document and any internal procedures adopted for its implementation are intended solely as guidance for employees of EPA. They do not constitute rulemaking and may not be relied on to create a right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law, or in equity, by any person. EPA reserves the right to act at variance with this guidance or its internal implementing procedures based on an analysis of specific site circumstances.
PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS: BASE CLOSURE TEAMS
Breaking the traditional model for site cleanup, DoD, EPA and state regulators have forged BRAC Cleanup Teams (BCTs) to deal with the complex environmental problems at closing and realigning bases. With a spirit of partnership, the BCT works to expedite cleanup and integrate cleanup with potential reuse options. As the DERTF made its installation visits numerous examples were noted where BCTs have moved the environmental work forward faster and at less cost than has been traditionally incurred.
As part of this new approach, EPA and state regulators bring a cadre of technical and legal experts to support the BCTs. This leads to real-time decision making, reduction in documents and identification of innovative ways to accomplish faster cleanup. Based on an initial survey by EPA, the first two years of this creative approach shaved off over 80 years of project work and avoided over $100 million in costs. Not only does the local community win by expediting cleanup to secure faster reuse, but the American taxpayer also wins.
The DERTF's visits and EPA's survey produced some excellent examples whereby BCTs saved time and costs. The substantial benefits achieved through this teaming approach are only made possible through EPA and state participation. EPA and state team members are only able to participate through funding provided by DoD through Interagency Agreements (IAGs) with EPA and through the Defense State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA) program authorized by Congress. The following descriptions of BCT actions illustrate some of their significant contributions toward moving closing bases toward productive reuse.
LORING AIR FORCE BASE, Limestone Maine
The BCT at this former Strategic Air Command (SAC) base decided to consolidate contaminated soil in a base landfill. The BCT consensus on consolidation achieved substantial time savings, up to 2 years, and likely avoided about $10 million in cost had the soil been treated or disposed of off-site.
FORT DEVENS, Devens, Massachusetts
The BCT at this 9,200 acre installation streamlined and integrated environmental investigations and expedited decision making. This is leading to faster completion of the assessment of environmental condition of this base, which, in turn is facilitating the integration of reuse options with ongoing cleanup work. This approach, overall, has cut 4 years out of various studies and is expected to reduce costs an estimated $5 million.
WOODBRIDGE RESEARCH FACILITY NAWC (HARRY DIAMOND LAB), Woodbridge, Virginia
The BCT improved procedures for using contractors largely based on EPA's Superfund experiences. For example, sampling requirements, were reduced over 80% while maintaining the same level of certainty. This saved over 1.5 years of work. Technical experts from EPA assisted the Restoration Advisory Board in understanding the complex aspects of risk assessments. This enabled the Board to more quickly resolve questions involving reuse while the Navy moved forward with cleanup.
HOMESTEAD AFB, Homestead, Florida
The BCT produced site and legal reports in-house eliminating unnecessary reliance on contractors. When the BCT was informed that contractors would take 4 months to prepare a site investigation report, it prepared the same report in 2 days. The teaming approach has reduced review times of all site documents, saving over 4 years in the process.
NAVAL BASE CHARLESTON, Charleston, South Carolina
The Charleston team has expedited multiple investigations by over 6 years cumulatively through innovative approaches such as overlapping environmental investigations with assessments and begin preparation for field work when workplans are drafted rather than waiting for final review and approval.
The BCT saved Naval Base Charleston time and avoided evacuation costs by responding to a misleading news release about pollution found on the base. Rather than evacuating a major portion of Naval Base, the on-site BCT allayed base and community fears.
K.I. SAWYER AFB, Marquette, Michigan
The BCT accelerated environmental investigation at 50 identified areas of contamination by reducing the number of samples taken at the sites. The BCT is taking early action to address a fuel recovery system while studying a long term ground water remedy. By shortening environmental document development and review time and minimizing sampling data, almost 5 years of work time has been avoided.
BERGSTROM AFB, Austin, Texas
Rather than individually approach the investigation of sewer laterals, sewer mains and groundwater, the BCT integrated the work into a single investigation. Having one investigation not only reduced the number of soil samples and groundwater wells, It reduced document generation. In addition, the regulators agreed to address environmental contamination through removal actions rather than longer, more expensive remedial actions. The expedited reuse of this site will permit construction of the City of Austin's new municipal airport, to meet a Court mandated schedule in October, 1998.
LOWRY AFB, Denver, Colorado
The BCT identified early actions to address a TCE ground water plume migrating off-site. This early action is estimated to have saved almost 3 years of work. Since the BCT ensured that these actions were consistent with reuse expectation, related transfer of the property by the Air Force to the community will occur 2 years earlier than had been projected.
LONG BEACH NAVAL STATION, Long Beach, California
BCT efforts are resulting in expedited groundwater cleanup and faster transfer of the Navy hospital. Unnecessary removal actions were avoided through the BCT review of the removal action plan which identified errors in the risk assessment. The BCT approach at this site is estimated to have saved over 2 years of work and avoid about $3 million in project costs.
NAVAL STATION PUGET SOUND, Seattle, Washington
The BCT were joined by representatives of the City of Seattle and the Muckleshoot Indian tribe because reuse issues were critical at this base. All environmental cleanup actions were addressed simultaneously and completed by February, 1995, 18 months after creation of the BCT.
NAVAL AIR STATION MIDWAY, Midway Island
EPA encouraged the Navy to utilize risk-based standards for contamination associated with underground storage tanks and for PCB contaminated soils which greatly reduced the quantity of material requiring remediation. By following the recommendation of the EPA representative on the BCT, the Navy saved about $1 million by not installing liners included in the design for construction debris landfills as no hazardous wastes were to be placed in the landfills.