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Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment in EPA's Underground Storage Tank Program

OUST Ecological Risk


OUST Human Health
Risk Topics:


OUST Additional Risk Assessment Topics:

Risk Based Decision Making

EPA's Risk Assessment Programs:

EPA’s Risk Assessment Portal

Additional OUST Information:

OUST Web Site

OUST Regulations and Standards

Regional OUST Information

View Waste and Cleanup Risk Assessment program-specific resources organized by topic:

Chemical Accident Prevention

Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse

Underground Storage Tanks

Resource and Conservation Recovery Act


Risk-based decision-making (RBDM) is a process in which decisions are made about sites contaminated by releases from underground storage tanks (USTs) according to the actual risk each site poses to human health and the environment. Agencies that implement the UST program can use RBDM to make determinations about the extent and urgency of corrective action and about the scope and intensity of their oversight of corrective action by UST owners and operators. Where risk-based decision-making is incorporated into the UST corrective action process, the result is usually called risk-based corrective action (RBCA). The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has issued a standard for risk-based corrective actionLink to EPA's External Link Disclaimer (NOTE: this standard is copyrighted and ASTM charges a fee to print/buy it); the ASTM standard provides a detailed scientific and technical framework that can be adapted by Agencies that implement the UST program for use in their corrective action programs.

RBCA is the integration of site assessment, remedial action selection, and monitoring with US EPA-recommended risk and exposure assessment practices. This creates a process by which corrective action decisions are made in a consistent manner that is protective of human health and the environment. The RBCA process is implemented in a tiered approach, involving increasingly sophisticated levels of data collection and analysis. The assumptions of earlier tiers are replaced with site-specific data and information. Upon evaluation of each tier, the user reviews the results and recommendations and decides whether more site-specific analysis is warranted.

Choose a topic at the top of the page to view OUST-Related Risk Assessment information.

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