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About the Pilot Program

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

This fact sheet is intended to provide interested parties with some basic information about the Superfund Redevelopment Pilot Program. It provides information on the services and financial assistance available and explains the guidelines for use of pilot assistance. It also discusses eligibility and evaluation criteria and briefly outlines the general steps of the pilot proposal and selection process.

What is the Superfund Redevelopment Program?

The Superfund Redevelopment Program is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) nationally coordinated effort to facilitate the return of the country's worst hazardous waste sites to productive use, by selecting cleanup remedies that are consistent with the anticipated future use of the sites. While EPA's primary mission is to protect human health and the environment, Superfund cleanups have also been instrumental in returning contaminated sites to productive use. The Agency has increasingly recognized the need to work with communities as part of the cleanup process to determine what the future use of the site is likely to be, EPA can then make the cleanup protective for that use. This will allow communities to reclaim these properties as valuable assets.

What is the Superfund Redevelopment Pilot Program?

The purpose of the Superfund Redevelopment Pilot Program is to help local governments participate in the cleanup and reuse of Superfund sites. Under the Pilot Program, EPA will provide, or will seek to have potentially responsible parties (PRPs) provide, up to $100,000 in financial assistance and services to local governments for specified activities. Although the program is directed toward local governments, other political subdivisions, federally recognized Indian Tribes, and states are also eligible to receive assistance. Applicants are offered several types of program assistance, including funding through cooperative agreements, access to facilitation services, and the availability of experts under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

How Were the Pilots Selected?

The Pilot Program was announced in the Federal Register in December 1999. In the Federal Register notice, EPA introduced the proposal procedure, pilot eligibility and evaluation criteria, and types of activities for which assistance can be provided. To be eligible, the applicant had to have a site within its jurisdiction that is proposed or final on the National Priorities List (NPL) - EPA's list of the worst hazardous waste sites - and construction of the remedy is not yet complete. Applicants with sites that are not on the NPL, but at which EPA is significantly involved and a cleanup decision is pending, were also eligible. Because the number of pilots to be awarded was limited, EPA developed criteria for evaluating proposals. EPA's evaluation criteria are explained in greater detail later in this fact sheet. Proposals were due on April 7, 2000. EPA announced the 40 pilot recipients in July 2000.

What Type of Assistance Did EPA Provide?

EPA offered the selected pilots an array of program assistance that is allowing them to accomplish the activities outlined in their proposals. EPA provided, or sought to have PRPs provide, up to $100,000 in financial assistance and services to each pilot. The type and exact amount of assistance provided depended on the specific activities to be performed. EPA consulted with the selected local governments on which type of assistance was to be provided. Cooperative agreements are the formal mechanism by which EPA provided monetary funds. Non-monetary assistance was provided by other mechanisms. The types of EPA assistance are as follows:

  • Cooperative Agreements - These agreements are used to award funds to local governments to support EPA and state efforts in the area of predicting future land use or other activities related to determining remedies at the site. Cooperative agreements outline the terms and conditions to be met by the recipient of the funds.
  • Facilitation Services - Through its facilitation services contract, EPA provides the services of a professional facilitator to assist the local government in identifying and involving stakeholders in determining the likely future uses for a site.
  • IPA Assignments - EPA helps fund a position for an expert to work with the local government on predicting site reuse, which will help provide information for EPA's selection of a remedy that is consistent with that reuse. For example, an IPA assignment can be used to establish a position such as an expert advisor. Both the EPA and the local government have roles in funding an IPA assignment. The IPA assignment is typically for one year, with the availability of an extension.
What Types of Activities Can Receive Assistance?

Reuse Assessments and Reuse Plans to determine the reasonably anticipated future land uses, as well as activities to support the development, evaluation, and documentation of predicted reuse as it might affect or be affected by cleanup alternatives that are being considered. These activities could be performed by in-house staff, consultants, or IPA personnel, with technical experience acting as Reuse Advisors. Some of the activities that can be conducted by a Reuse Advisor can be found in EPA's guidance on considering land use in remedy selection (see section entitled "Developing Assumptions on Future Land Use" in Land Use in the CERCLA Remedy Selection Process, OSWER Directive No. 9355.7-04)

  • Facilitation provided by neutral parties who, by working with state and local government representatives, identify and involve community stakeholders in developing views on what future land uses might be reasonably predicted for the site.
  • Coordination among different levels of government, community members, and organizations interested in natural resources (e.g., hunting, recreational, and environmental organizations) to identify reasonably anticipated future uses of the land or provide a focal point for reuse issues.
  • Public Outreach including conducting public meetings, publishing newsletters and other informational material for the public, and developing strategies to educate and involve community leaders in predicting reuse or in the Superfund cleanup and decision-making processes. A community may wish to use facilitation services to accomplish this activity.
  • Training and Workshops for community members and local governments on projecting site reuse and the Superfund cleanup and remedy selection processes as related to a specific Superfund site (this may also include information on the long term implications and the need to maintain land use restrictions.
  • Support for a Citizen Advisory Group to advise the community in projecting reuse of a site. For example, support may include provision of meeting space, or newsletter development and distribution.
  • Other Technical Assistance to the community from consultants, non-governmental organizations, and universities to study and develop recommendations on legal, fiscal, economic, and other issues as appropriate to project site reuse and support the selection of a remedy consistent with that reuse.
What Were the Eligibility Criteria?

EPA identified basic requirements that applicants and their sites had to meet to be eligible for funding under this initiative:

  • The applicant is a political subdivision (e.g., city, town, county), a federally recognized Indian tribe, or a state;
  • The applicant is not a Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) at the site; or if the applicant is a PRP, the applicant's liability as a PRP has been resolved to EPA's satisfaction; and
  • The site within the applicant's jurisdiction is 1) proposed or final on the NPL, and construction of the remedy is not yet complete; or 2) not on the NPL, but a multi-million dollar EPA-funded Removal Action is planned at the site which will last more than 12 months, and a cleanup decision is still pending.
How Did EPA Decide Between Eligible Applicants?

Due to a large number of interested applicants, EPA received more eligible proposals than the Agency could assist. In order to distinguish the most promising candidates, EPA developed a list of evaluation factors that appeared in the Federal Register notice including:

  • Project strategy;
  • Budget;
  • Superfund cleanup phase;
  • Anticipated role of current/future site owner;
  • Community-based planning and involvement;
  • Anticipated State role; and
  • Clearly identified value added through EPA assistance.
How Did the Pilot Selection Process Work?

EPA targeted a group of ten local governments to serve as a first round of pilots. These First Round Pilots were chosen based on preliminary eligibility and evaluation criteria, and served as models for the proposal process. At most of these Pilots, EPA has entered into Cooperative Agreements with the local governments, and Pilot activities are already underway.

To broaden the pilot program, EPA developed an open proposal process, which was announced in the Federal Register in December 1999. Interested applicants were asked to complete a proposal with basic information about the types of activities they were proposing to conduct and the types of support they were requesting from EPA. The deadline for submitting proposals to EPA was April 7, 2000. In May 2000, EPA reviewed the proposals to ensure that the applicants and their sites were eligible and to assess the proposals against the evaluation criteria.

EPA announced the selection of 40 Pilots in July 2000. After the announcement, EPA established agreements with, or otherwise coordinated with, the successful applicants.

How Can I Get More Information?

To learn more about the redevelopment or reuse of Superfund sites, write to reuse.info@epa.gov, or call the Superfund Hotline at 800-424-9346 or (703) 412-9810 (Washington, DC area), or Melissa Friedland at (703) 603-8864.