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What Are EPA and Others Doing about Long-Term Stewardship?

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The Task Force recognizes that a significant amount of work has previously been undertaken within individual EPA programs, other Federal departments and agencies, States and State organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The following provides a few highlights of these efforts, and Appendix B provides a more detailed description of the studies that have been prepared and the initiatives underway.

Interagency Efforts

EPA has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on long-term stewardship of Federal facilities with the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Interior (DOI), and the Environmental Council of States (ECOS). The MOU provides a common understanding and agreement, and basis for discussion and coordination, among relevant Federal agencies and ECOS. The MOU provides a definition of LTS, a set of guiding principles, and the key elements or components of LTS.

The Environmental Financial Advisory Board, a Federal advisory committee composed of public and private entities that provides advice to EPA, is currently working with EPA and The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) to address the issue of the reliability of financial assurance for environmental stewardship of contaminated properties. The results of this effort will be documented in a report that should supplement and educate the work of the LTS Task Force.

EPA Activities

EPA's cleanup programs have been addressing LTS for many years and are increasingly addressing such matters through new strategies, initiatives, guidance, and pilot projects. Highlights of several key efforts include:

Other Federal Agency Activities

DoD and DOE have extensive experience addressing LTS issues at their cleaned-up sites. While they may face unique issues with respect to the cleanup of their sites, both DOE's and DoD's efforts have broad applicability to other contamination sites requiring post-cleanup care. Several noteworthy reports and initiatives are summarized below. Others are noted in the appendix at the back.

States and State Organizations

Highlights of several key State efforts to address LTS issues include:

Non-governmental Organizations

Several noteworthy initiatives and studies by non-governmental organizations include:

Private Sector

The private sector is increasingly playing a role in several aspects of LTS. For example, insurance companies and others in the risk management field are developing products and services that provide the financial mechanisms and address the liability concerns for those with LTS responsibilities at sites. Private firms are also engaging landowners and regulatory agencies, through several pilot projects, to establish not-for-profit trust mechanisms that assume a direct property interest in remediated sites and take over all LTS responsibilities for those sites, including inspections, operation and maintenance, monitoring, and tracking implementation of institutional controls. Companies are also developing new or improved methods of monitoring sites with residual contamination and detecting possible breaches of engineering or institutional controls.

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