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APPENDIX E: Ceiling Increase Request Format OSWER Directive 9360.0-16a Guidance for Conducting Federal-Lead Underground Storage Tank Corrective Actions July 25, 1988


The following action memorandum format is recommended for requesting approval for ceiling increases. The purpose of this format is to provide the OSC with a blueprint that can be easily followed when substantiating the need for exceeding the current ceiling on Federal-lead UST corrective action cost.


DATE: (Month/Day/Year)
SUBJECT: Request for Federal-lead UST Corrective Action
(Site, City, State)
FROM: (Regional Administrator)
TO: (see Appendix A)


Briefly explain why the ceiling increase is being requested. Indicate what the new project ceiling will be if the ceiling increase is approved. For example, "A ceiling increase of $16,000 for a new total of $54,550 is being requested to continue a Federal-lead UST corrective action at this site."


The primary purpose of this section is to identify the key characteristics of the release in order to lay the foundation for demonstrating that a major public health or environmental emergency exists. These characteristics include site location and pre-release use, the type of release, and its scope. In compiling this information, the OSC should consider the availability of pictures, diagrams, maps, and/or sketches that may assist in describing the site.

A. Incident/Response History

Discuss the background/history of the site, including the following: current conditions at the site; who initiated actions and when; the date Federal-lead UST corrective actions were approved and by whom; approved actions; and actions taken to date (e.g., ventilation of structures, provision of bottled water).

B. Site Conditions

Briefly describe the site conditions and the reasons for a ceiling increase request. State whether the additional funds are needed due to increased costs for previously approved actions, or to expand the scope of work beyond that approved in the original action memorandum. If the ceiling increase is needed to complete previously approved actions, explain the need for additional funding (e.g., disposal costs higher than anticipated). If the ceiling increase is needed to expand the scope of work, discuss how the site conditions meet the criterion of presenting a major public health or environmental emergency; also explain why neither the owner nor operator is able to conduct the corrective action. Include a description of a worst-case scenario should the ceiling increase not be granted.

Discuss the present status of the UST corrective action (e.g., gasoline release contained and soil awaiting excavation).

Include any information that may help substantiate the need for a ceiling increase. Attach any enforcement status information, ATSDR health advice memoranda, and other pertinent information such as pictures, drawings, and other materials to the back of this action memorandum.


Describe the proposed actions to be undertaken if a ceiling increase is approved. Briefly describe the actions that are required to complete the response; for example, "bottled water will be provided until water main hookups are completed." Indicate the objective of the proposed actions or the threats these actions are to abate, minimize, or limit.


Provide a summary of costs, including a breakdown of costs for both the current ceiling and the proposed ceiling. Detail the estimated total project ceiling with an itemized breakdown of the following cost categories that comprise the ceiling: extramural costs, including cleanup contractor costs, TAT costs, and a 15% contingency allowance; and EPA intramural costs, both direct and indirect. For example, the project ceiling should be broken down as follows:

Extramural Current Ceiling Proposed Ceiling
Cleanup contractors $20,000 $30.000
TAT 5,000 7,000
15% contingency 3,750 5,550
Intramural (both HA and Region)    
Direct 3,000 4,000
Indirect (estimated based on provisional rates) 6,000 8,000


The purpose of this section is to briefly present the Region's recommendations, rationale, and the project costs. For example, "To eliminate the major health emergency posed to the nearby public and the environment consistent with the Federal-lead UST response criteria, I recommend you approve this $16,800 ceiling increase request." Briefly summarize what the additional funds will be used for. Briefly state how the approval would increase the current total project ceiling. For example, "Your approval would raise the extramural cleanup contractor ceiling to $30,000 and bring the total project ceiling from $37,750 to $54,550. You may indicate your approval or disapproval by signing below."

Approve [Name and Title]: ____________________ Date: ____________________

Disapprove [Name and Title]: __________________ Date: ____________________

Concur [Name and Title]: _____________________ Date: ____________________

Attachment [s]

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