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Round 3-10b: Promote Risk-Based Priority for NPL Sites

Reform Description
In August 1995, EPA established a National Risk-Based Priority Panel of program experts representing all 10 Regions and EPA Headquarters to evaluate the risk at NPL sites with respect to human health and the environment. The Agency uses these evaluations to establish funding priorities (i.e., projects are funded, with the exception of emergencies and the most critical removal actions, in order of priority based on panel evaluations).

The panel uses the following criteria to evaluate projects:
  • Risks to humans;
  • Ecological risks;
  • Stability of contaminants;
  • Contaminant characteristics; and
  • Economic, social, and program management considerations.

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Reform Status
check mark Implementation of this reform is complete.

The panel will continue to review cleanup projects and establish funding priorities.

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Since its inception in 1995, the panel has ranked over $1 billion in cleanup projects. In FY03 alone, the panel evaluated over 35 projects and forwarded recommendations to Headquarters and the Regions. Below, for your information, is a listing of most of the projects evaluated in FY03:

In FY03, the panel evaluated 35 projects of which,

  • 9 projects received funding to commence construction;
  • 1 project was removed from consideration due to changed conditions;
  • 12* projects were ready to proceed but not funded; and
  • 13* projects experienced delays and were not ready for construction.

(*Note: The 25 unfunded projects were carried over for consideration during 2004.)

The panel has ranked over $1 billion in cleanup projects since its inception. A sample of the sites ranked by the panel between FY96-FY99 included over 75 projects with a value in excess of $300 million. Of these, 35 projects (which totaled approximately $185 million) were funded in accordance with the panel's recommendations.

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