Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment

RCRA Risk Assessment: Risk Management

View resources related to this topic from other Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment Programs:
(note - programs not linked do not have content for this topic)

Chemical Accident Prevention

Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse

Underground Storage Tanks

Resource and Conservation Recovery Act


Additional RCRA Information:

Corrective Action

Vapor Intrusion


Hazardous Waste Identification

Industrial Waste

Risk Management is a distinctly different process from risk assessment. Risk assessment establishes whether a risk is present and, if so, the range or magnitude of that risk. In the risk management process, the results of the risk assessment are integrated with other considerations, such as economic or legal concerns, to reach decisions regarding the need for and practicability of implementing various risk reduction activities. Risk managers also use risk assessment results as a basis for communicating risks to interested parties and the general public.

Risk managers may also employ consensus based approaches, such as the Risk-Based Decision-Making (RBDM) process, in which decisions are made about contaminated sites according to the risk each site poses to human health and the environment using general protocols. Underground storage tank (UST) implementing agencies often use RBDM to make determinations about the extent and urgency of corrective action needed and about the scope and intensity of their oversight of corrective action activities by UST owners and operators.

Documents | EPA Links


  1. Approach for Addressing Dioxin in Soil and CERCLA and RCRA Sites (PDF) OSWER Directive 9200.4-26, April 13, 1998 (6 pp, 24K,  About PDF)
    The purpose of this document is to recommend preliminary remediation goals (PRGs), or starting points for cleaning up dioxin in soil.
  2. Clarification of the Role of ARARs in Establishing Preliminary Remedial Goals under CERCLA (PDF) (4 pp, 412K,  About PDF) August 22, 1997
    This memorandum clarifies the relationship between the two key remedy selection mandates of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA).
  3. Clarification to the 1994 Revised Interim Soil Lead Guidance for CERCLA Sites and RCRA Corrective Action Facilities (PDF) (16 pp, 132K,  About PDF) 1998, OSWER Directive 9200.4-27, EPA/540/F-98/030 PB98-963244, OSWER Directive # 9200.4-27P.
    This document provides an approach for determining protective levels of lead in soil, including recommended screening levels, how to develop preliminary remediation goals, and a description of a clean-up plan for CERCLA (Superfund) and RCRA sites with multiple sources of lead.
  4. Distribution of OSWER of Radionuclide Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) for Superfund Electronic Calculator (PDF) (4 pp, 100K,  About PDF)
  5. Radiation Preliminary Remedial Goals for Superfund February 7, 2002
    The purpose of this database is to provide a PRG calculation tool to assist risk assessors, remedial project managers, and others involved with risk assessment and decision-making at CERCLA sites in developing PRGs.
  6. Ecological Risk Assessment and Risk Management Principles for Superfund Sites, (Issuance of Final Guidance) (PDF) (9 pp, 1MB,  About PDF) October 7, 1999
    Guidance intended to help Superfund project managers to make ecological assessment decisions that are consistent across the United States and are transparent to the public.
  7. ECO Update Bulletin Series
    EcoUpdates are a series of bulletins which provide information on various aspects of Ecological Risk Assessments, including toxicity testing, the role of the Biological Technical Assistance Group (BTAG), field studies, and screening level risk assessments.
  8. Establishment of Cleanup Levels for CERCLA Sites with Radioactive Contamination (PDF) (20 pp, 1.12MB,  About PDF) August 22, 1997
    This memorandum presents clarifying guidance for establishing protective cleanup levels for radioactive contamination at Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) sites.
  9. Headquarters Consultation for Radioactively Contaminated Sites (PDF) (4 pp, 420K,  About PDF) July 26, 2000
    Memo documenting a request by EPA Headquarters that EPA Regional offices consult with HQ in certain circumstances when dealing with radioactively-contaminated sites.
  10. National Recommended Ambient Water Quality Criteria (PDF) (36 pp, 404K,  About PDF)
    The criteria in this document (for 158 pollutants) provide guidance for states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act to protect human health and aquatic life.
  11. Preliminary Remediation Goals for Ecological Endpoints (PDF) (41 pp, 140K,  About PDF)
    Eco Update, (Guidance document dated August 31, 2000.) Preliminary Remediation Goals are upper concentration limits of specific chemicals that are expected to be protective of human health or the environment and are useful in risk assessment and decision making at Superfund sites.
  12. Role of Screening Level Risk Assessment and Refining COCs (Chemicals or Contaminants of Concern) in Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment (PDF) (4 pp, 364K,  About PDF) 2001
    This EcoUpdate bulletin describes the process and purpose of the screening level ecological risk assessment, which is the first steps in a ecological risk assessment at a site, and how the list of COCs can be refined to include only those contaminants that may pose a risk.
  13. The Role of Natural Resource Trustees in the Superfund Process (PDF) (10 pp, 191K,  About PDF) March 1992 Eco Update
    This EcoUpdate bulletin is intended to help project managers to work with Natural Resource Trustees, explaining the responsibilities and authorities of those trustees and those of the Remedial Project Managers and On-Scene Coordinators with respect to those trustees.
  14. Soil Cleanup Criteria in 40 CFR Part 192 (PDF) (6 pp, 728K,  About PDF) Uranium Mine Tailings Radiation Control Act, OSWER Directive 9200.4-25, February 12, 1998
    Memo addressing the use of soil cleanup criteria when setting remediation goals at CERCLA (Superfund) sites with radioactive contamination.
  15. Use of Uranium Drinking Water Standards under 40 CFR 141 and 40 CFR 192 as Remediation Goals for Groundwater at CERCLA Sites (PDF) November 6, 2001 (11 pp, 420K,  About PDF)
    Memo addressing the use of uranium standards when establishing remediation goals in groundwater in CERCLA (Superfund) sites that may be current or future sources of drinking water.

Top of page

EPA Links

  1. Region 5 Ecology Technical Center Ecological Risk Assessment
    Overview of ecological risk assessment process in Superfund, regional case studies, toxicity profiles, and regional contacts.

Top of page

OSWER Home | Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment Home

Jump to main content.