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Tribal Nations RBDM Guidance & RBCA Software

RISK-BASED DECISION MAKING FOR PETROLEUM RELEASES AT UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK SITES IN INDIAN COUNTRIES

OSWER Directive 9610.9A: Interim final National Corrective Action Policy for USTs in Indian Country directs EPA Regional UST personnel to initiate and coordinate federal-lead corrective actions in Indian Country as set forth in Section 9003 (h) of Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery act (RCRA). The Directive states that EPA Regional offices will use a risk-based corrective action process to give priority to releases posing the greatest threat to human health and the environment.

EPA-Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) has worked with Regional and Tribal stakeholders to develop a guidance document to aid these entities in the creation of a risk-based decision-making (RBDM) approach to corrective action on tribal lands. The Guidance presents a tiered decision-making framework to manage petroleum impacted underground storage tank sites in Indian Countries in a manner that is protective of the human health, the environment, and natural resources. The guidance stresses the need for EPA, tribes and other stakeholders to work in a collaborative fashion to design a corrective action process that addresses specific needs of the stakeholders. As of June 2003, these tools are in final draft form.

In addition to the development of the Indian Country Guidance document, the EPA and the American Society for Testing and Materials through a cooperative agreement have developed: (i) a computational software that can be used to estimate generic risk assessment (or clean-up) levels for all media (ii) a checklist of data necessary to perform a defensible risk evaluation, and (iii) a reporting software to assist in the site-specific application, documentation, and review of the corrective action process. These tools were completed in the early part of 1999 and are currently in the final stages of the review process.

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