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Use Determinations for Ground Water

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“Summary of Key Existing EPA CERCLA Policies for Groundwater Restoration” June 26, 2009
OSWER Directive 9283.1-33. 11 p.
Available on-line from OSWER[PDF 2.5M].

The directive provides a compilation of some key existing EPA groundwater policies to assist EPA Regions in making groundwater restoration decisions pursuant to CERCLA and the NCP. In addition, by providing this information in a single document, it may serve to enhance the transparency and understanding, by the public, state regulators and others, of EPA�s clean up decisions related to groundwater. Groundwater Classification and Beneficial Use Policy is discussed on pages 6 and 7.

"The Role of CSGWPPs in EPA Remediation Programs," April 4, 1997.
OSWER Directive 9283.1-09, NTIS Order Number PB95-963325, 12p.
Available on-line from OSWER [HTML].

This directive establishes and explains the policy that EPA remediation programs generally should defer to State determinations of current and future ground water uses when based on an EPA-endorsed Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Program (CSGWPP). This directive also provides background information on CSGWPPs.

"Final Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Program Guidance," December 1992.
U.S. EPA Office of the Administrator Publication EPA-100-R-93-001, NTIS Order Number PB93-163087, 166p.
Available on-line from OSWER[PDF 710K]

This guidance provides guidance to States on preparing Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Programs with the goal of coordinating ground water protection across programs and providing additional flexibility to States in directing their ground water activities. The guidance defines EPA's three-tiered hierarchy of preferred ground water protection objectives (prevention wherever possible; prevention based on vulnerability, use and value; remediation based on relative use and value.) The guidance also outlines State linkages to EPA and other Federal programs which relate to ground water.

"Guidelines for Ground-Water Classification Under the [1984] EPA Ground-Water Protection Strategy, Final Draft" November, 1986.
Office of Ground-Water Protection Publication EPA/440/6-86-007, NTIS Order Number PB88-229067.
Executive summary and full document available on-line from OSWER:
Executive summary (10p.) [PDF 438K]
Full document (135p. plus appendices) [HTML]

These Final Draft guidelines further define the concepts and key terms related to the classification system outlined in the 1984 Ground Water Protection Strategy, and describe procedures and information needs for classifying ground water using this approach. Although the guidelines were not finalized, they are still in current use, as modified by the more recent CSGWPP guidances.

Other Reports or Information:

"Status of Comprehensive State Ground Water Protection Programs (CSGWPP),"

Map of States with EPA endorsed CSGWPPs from Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water web site.

"State Source Water Assessment And Protection Programs Guidance Final Guidance," August 6, 1997.
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Publication (OGWDW) EPA 816-R-97-009.
Available on-line from OGWDW [HTML]

This document provides guidance required by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 (P.L. 104-182) for state Source Water Assessment Programs [sections 1453 and 1428(b)] and for Source Water Petition Programs (section 1454). This document describes the elements of an EPA-approvable state Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) submittal as well as EPA's recommendations for what may be included in a state Source Water Protection (SWP) Program. The document also provides an overview of how source water assessment and protection integrates with other SDWA programs and efforts and how other EPA and federal programs can assist states in developing and implementing assessment and protection programs, and vice versa.

"Ground Water Cleanup at Superfund Sites," December 1996.
U.S. EPA Office of the Administrator Publication EPA540-K-96 008, NTIS Order Number PB96-963310.

This brochure explains some of the approaches EPA uses to clean up ground water contamination and, most importantly, offers information on how citizens can help reduce and prevent ground water contamination.

"Protecting the Nation's Ground Water: EPA's Strategy for the 1990's, The Final Report of the EPA Ground-Water Task Force," July 1991.
U.S. EPA Office of the Administrator Publication EPA/21Z-1020, NTIS Order Number PB92-224765, 84p.
Available on-line from OSWER [PDF 3.1M].

This report provides Agency policy and implementation principles for EPA's ground water-related programs. It lays out EPA's ground-water protection principles, the Federal/State relationship, EPA's approach to implementation, Agency policy on use of quality standards in prevention and remediation, ground-water data management recommendations, and an Office of Research and Development Ground-Water Research Plan.

"Ground Water Protection Strategy," August 1984.
Office of Ground-Water Protection Publication(unnumbered), NTIS Order Number PB88-112107, 60p.
Available on-line from OSWER [PDF 139K].

This document summarizes the nature and extent of ground-water contamination in the United States, outlines the responsibilities of State, local and Federal government in ground water protection, and lays out EPA's strategy to fulfill its role by strengthening State programs, addressing current ground water problems, and creating EPA policies and internal organizations for ground water protection. This includes the policy that ground water protection should consider the highest beneficial use for which it has significant value or potential, and defines three classes of ground water based on value and vulnerability to contamination: Class I, II and III.


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