Institutional Controls (ICs)
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Institutional controls are actions, such as legal controls, that help minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination by ensuring appropriate land or resource use. Although it is EPA's expectation that treatment or engineering controls should be used to address principle threat wastes and that groundwater should be returned to its beneficial use whenever practicable, ICs can and do play an important role in remedies.
ICs are used when contamination is first discovered, when remedies are ongoing and when residual contamination remains onsite at a level that does not allow for unrestricted use and unlimited exposure after cleanup. The National Contingency Plan (NCP) emphasizes that ICs are meant to supplement engineering controls and that ICs should rarely be the sole remedy at a site.
Sample Federal Facility Land Use Control ROD Checklist with Suggested Language (LUC Checklist), OSWER Directive 9355.6-12 (PDF)
(6 pp, 287K) - January 2013
EPA Regional programs are responsible for ensuring that land use controls (LUCs) or ICs are properly documented for federal facility NPL sites and for some BRAC sites. The LUC Checklist provides direction on describing and documenting land use controls (LUCs) in federal facility response actions under CERCLA in Records of Decision (RODs), remedial designs (RDs), and remedial action work plans (RAWPs). The LUC Checklist also provides recommended language for creating enforceable LUC requirements in these documents to ensure the protectiveness of CERCLA remedies.
Institutional Controls: A Guide to Planning, Implementing, Maintaining, and Enforcing Institutional Controls at Contaminated Sites (PIME IC Guidance) (PDF)
(44 pp, 452K) - December 2012
This guide identifies and addresses many of the common issues that may be encountered when using ICs pursuant to several of the Agency’s cleanup programs (Superfund remedial and removal, federal facilities, Brownfields, underground storage tanks, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act sites). It also provides an overview of the Agency’s policy regarding the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders involved in various aspects of the IC life cycle, namely the planning, implementing, maintaining, and enforcing of ICs.
Institutional Controls: A Guide to Preparing Institutional Control Implementation and Assurance Plans at Contaminated Sites (ICIAP) guidance (PDF)
(16 pp, 160K) - December 2012
This guide provides EPA Regions with a template for developing IC plans (i.e., ICIAPs) at contaminated sites where the response action includes ICs. An ICIAP is a document designed to systematically: (a) establish and document the activities associated with implementing and ensuring the long-term stewardship of ICs: and (b) specify the persons and/or entities that will be responsible for conducting these activities. This guidance is a companion document to the PIME IC Guidance.
Institutional Controls: A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding Institutional Controls at Superfund, Brownfields, Federal Facilities, Underground Storage Tanks, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Cleanups (PDF)
(9 pp, 1.6MB) - March 2005
This guide defines ICs and other related terms, discusses the different types of lCs, discusses when, why, and how ICs are used, identifies entities that may be involved in the i mplementation, monitoring and enforcement of lCs, and discusses the role of the community throughout the IC life-cycle.
Strategy to Ensure Institutional Control Implementation at Superfund Sites (PDF)
(17 pp, 117K) - September 2004
This Strategy will serve as a roadmap for EPA regional and headquarters personnel in preparing Region specific action plans and conducting the work necessary to ensure the proper implementation of ICs at Superfund sites.
EPA guidance on the settlement for the national post-ROD dispute (PDF)
(18 pp, 742K) - November 2003
The purpose of this memorandum is to confirm the resolution of the post-Record of Decision (ROD) dispute as described in the October 2, 2003 letter.
A Site Manager’s Guide to Identifying, Evaluating and Selecting Institutional Controls at Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action Cleanups (PDF)
(10 pp, 49K) - September 2000
This fact sheet provides Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action sitemanagers and decision-makers with an overview of the types ofInstitutional Controls (ICs) that are commonly used or implemented, andoutlines the factors that should generally be considered when evaluatingand selecting ICs as part of the remedy.
Land use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process (PDF)
(11 pp, 915K) - May 1995
This directive presents additional information for considering land use in making remedy selection decisions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.
Institutional Controls and Transfer of Real Property under CERCLA Section 120(h)(3)(A), (B) or (C)
This document provides guidance to the EPA on the exercise of EPA’s discretion under CERCLA section 120(h)(3)(A),(B), or (C) when EPA is called upon to evaluate institutional controls as part of a remedial action.