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Detailed Analysis

Detailed analysis is the last phase of the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) process. Once sufficient data are available, alternatives are evaluated in detail with respect to nine evaluation criteria that the Agency has developed to address the statutory requirements and preferences of CERCLA (CERCLA Overview). The nine criteria include:

  • overall protection of human health and the environment;
  • compliance with ARARs (see Terms of Environment);
  • long-term effectiveness and permanence;
  • reduction of toxicity, mobility, or volume;
  • short-term effectiveness;
  • implementability;
  • cost;
  • State acceptance; and
  • community acceptance.

The alternatives are analyzed individually against each criterion and then compared against one another to determine their respective strengths and weaknesses and to identify the key trade-offs that must be balanced for the site. The results of the detailed analysis are summarized so that an appropriate remedy consistent with CERCLA can be selected.


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