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Emergency Response Alternatives

Not all emergency response or removal actions classified under the National Contingency Plan (NCP) are equally urgent. For example, situations involving abandoned hazardous waste drums or cleanup of abandoned industrial facilities may not require urgent attention. Based on the NCP, EPA defines the following types of response alternatives:

  • Classic Emergencies: Those actions where the release requires on-site activities be initiated within minutes or hours of a determination that a removal action is appropriate. Read an example of a classic emergency response.
  • Long-term cleanup efforts may respond to less urgent recent releases, or may involve cleanup at long-term Superfund sites:
    • Time-Critical Actions: Actions where, based on an evaluation of the site, EPA determines that less than six months is available before site activities must be initiated.
    • Non-Time-Critical Actions: Actions where, based on an evaluation of the site, EPA determines that more than six months is available before on-site activities must begin.