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Round 3-6a: Establish National Criteria on Superfund Risk Assessments




Reform Description
This reform aims to establish national criteria for the Regions to plan, report, and review Superfund risk assessments. EPA has issued guidance to ensure that risk assessments are well-scoped and well-designed, use standard presentation formats, and are easier for Superfund risk assessors to review.

These improvements will help promote clarity and consistency in risk assessment development, and facilitate decision-making for response actions at Superfund sites.

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Reform Status
check mark Implementation of this reform is complete.

EPA will continue to implement the RAGS Part D pilot during FY 2000, addressing questions from training and website feedback. The Agency will test RAGS Part D on various site types and provide clarification and user tips as appropriate, and revise guidance as appropriate throughout and following pilot period. Finally, EPA will address lead, radionuclide, and ecological standardization issues.

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Results
EPA prepared a draft risk assessment guidance and issued draft standard risk assessment data reporting tables in 1996. The Agency then established a workgroup of Headquarters and Regional representatives to review and revise these drafts and produce final guidance. The Agency received and addressed comments and issued final data reporting tables in July 1997 (see Success Stories below).

EPA issued "Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (Part D)" in January 1998, and launched the RAGS Part D website in February 1998.

"Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund" was released in June 1998 (see Documents below), and the Agency conducted RAGS Part D training for risk assessors and risk managers from July through September 1998.

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Success Stories
Risk Assessment Data Reporting Tables

EPA's standard risk assessment data reporting tables have been developed as electronic spreadsheet templates that provide clear, consistent, and transparent risk data presentations. The tables provide the summary-level risk data that must be entered into CERCLIS 3; now the table data can be electronically transferred to CERLCIS 3, omitting the need for data reentry. [FY97 Success]

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Documents

Title: Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part D: Standardized Planning, Reporting, and Review of Superfund Risk Assessments) [Final]
Date: December 2001
Document #: 9285.7-47
Synopsis: This document was an approach by EPA to respond to the challenges of planning, reporting, and reviewing Superfund risk assessments presented in RAGS Part D. The document became final in December 2001 and is to supercede the interim version published in 1998.

Title: Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund: Process for Designing and Conducting Ecological Risk Assessments
Date: June 1998
Document #: EPA 540-R-97-006, OSWER 9285.7-25, NTIS PB97-963211
Synopsis: This document provides guidance on the process of designing and conducting technically-defensible ecological risk assessments for the Superfund program. It is intended to promote consistency and a science-based approach within the program.

This Guidance reflects EPA's attempt to ensure that risk assessments are well-scoped and well-designed; organized in a standardized presentation format; and easier for Superfund risk assessors to review. These improvements will promote clarity and consistency in risk assessment development and facilitate decision making for response actions. Standard reporting requirements will also ensure that assessments are both consistent and reasonable.

Title: Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS): Part D
Date: 2002
Document #: 9285.7-47
Synopsis: The RAGS D revisions were completed December 2001. As of June 10, 2002, Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund (RAGS): Volume I - Human Health Evaluation Manual (Part D, Standardized Planning, Reporting and Review of Superfund Risk Assessments) Final December 2001, will supersede an interim version published in1998 and is effective immediately for all new Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) risk assessments.

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