Transmittal of "EPA Guidance on the Transfer of Federal Property by Deed Before All Necessary Remedial Action Has Been Taken Pursuant to CERCLA Section 120(h)(3)"
Acting Assistant Administrator
Office of Regional Counsel, Regions I-X
This memorandum transmits the "EPA Guidance on the Transfer of Federal Property by Deed Before All Necessary Remedial Action Has Been Taken Pursuant to CERCLA Section 120(h)(3)," otherwise known as the Early Transfer Guidance. This guidance is for the EPA Regions to use when reviewing requests from federal departments and agencies that are transferring property to defer the CERCLA Section 120(h)(3) covenant that all necessary remedial actions have been taken.
EPA is fully supportive of the early transfer process. When a transferee agrees to conduct the response action, this new authority provides other federal departments and agencies with an opportunity to secure cleanup by having other non-federal parties conduct cleanup. This could yield significant benefits to human health and the environment and savings to the taxpayer. In all instances, however, the landholding federal agency remains responsible for cleanup.
The Early Transfer Guidance benefits from the input of an interagency workgroup composed of EPA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the General Services Administration. The interagency workgroup discussed several issues related to early transfer that are covered in this policy. Earlier versions of the guidance were also shared with ASTSWMO. This is, however, an EPA policy, not an interagency product.
The guidance establishes a process by which an EPA regional office should review an early transfer request. This process begins with the transferring federal agency submitting information of a sufficient quality and quantity to EPA which will support its request for a deferral and provide a basis for EPA to make its determination. This information should be submitted to EPA in the form of a Covenant Deferral Request (CDR). At base closure sites where an early transfer is being sought, EPA anticipates that the Base Closure Team, including the EPA representative, will work together in drafting the CDR to expedite the transfer.
Finally it is important to note that states play an important role in this process regardless of whether the parcel under review is on the National Priority List Federal Facility or not. States must also concur on the early transfer.
I believe this Early Transfer Guidance provides useful information to the Regions to assist federal departments and agencies in expediting the early transfer of property. If you have any questions regarding this guidance, please contact the Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office at (202) 260-9924.
Lisa Friedman, Office of General Counsel
Kathy Gorospe, American Indian Environmental Office
Federal Facility Leadership Council
Defense Environmental Restoration Task Force
Sherri W. Goodman, Department of Defense
Raymond Fatz, Department of Army
Ellsie Munsell, Department of Navy
Thomas McCall, Jr., Department of Air Force
Al Lowas, Air Force Base Conversion Agency
James Owendoff, Department of Energy
Jim Fiori, Department of Energy
Robert DeGrasse, Department of Energy
Brian Polly, General Services Administration
Willie Taylor, Department of Interior
Tom Kennedy, Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials
Stan Phillipe, Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials
Jerry Pardilla, National Tribal Environmental Council