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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England

Sample Comfort Letter



Dear [Recipient]:

The purpose of this letter is to clarify EPA New England's intentions concerning the potential listing of the [CERCLIS Site Name] property in [City], [State] on the National Priorities List (NPL).

Currently, there are approximately 1,200 New England sites in various stages of being evaluated for potential NPL eligibility. In order to address these 1,200 sites in a timely manner, EPA New England's Site Assessment program is now considering alternatives that will make it possible for the states and EPA to agree on a significantly reduced number of sites which are appropriate for the NPL. Our goals are to focus federal resources where they are most effective, encourage private party responses under state authorities, reduce duplicative efforts due to overlapping state and federal requirements, and provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on site priorities and actions.

Many of these 1,200 sites have had, or are now undergoing various actions by EPA, the state, or responsible parties to reduce human health and environmental risks. In the case of the [CERCLIS Site Name] property, [Summarize Site-specific Status Information, for example: the site has undergone extensive investigation and cleanup via the state's 21E Waste Site Cleanup Program, and was added to the state "Remedial List" in 1987. This designation indicates that appropriate remedial actions have been completed to the satisfaction of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and that no further actions are required at this time].

EPA New England has investigated the [CERCLIS Site Name] site to decide if it should be listed on the NPL. As part of the investigation, EPA has considered the recommendation of the [State Agency] (Cite letter from state) that this site is not an appropriate candidate for listing, and that it should remain a state-lead site.

[Provide further rationale for EPA's decision, such as: EPA New England further recognizes the fact that the site has been remediated via the state program, and that the state has reaffirmed its commitment to take appropriate action in the event that new information is received which indicates further assessment or response actions are needed]. In light of these circumstances, EPA New England has determined that no further steps will be taken at this time to list this site on the NPL.

Please be advised that EPA New England, in consultation with the [State Agency], reserves the right to reactivate NPL listing activities at this site if new information or substantially changed site conditions make a recommendation for listing appropriate at a later time.

If you have any questions regarding the Superfund Site Assessment program status of the [CERCLIS Site Name] property, please contact [EPA SAM] of my staff at [SAM Phone Number].


Patricia L. Meaney, Director
Office of Site Remediation and Restoration


cc: [State Contact]
Town Representative

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