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National Enforcement Strategy for RCRA Corrective Action

EPA, in collaboration with its state partners, has developed a National Enforcement Strategy for RCRA Corrective Action (NESCA) to help achieve the 2020 RCRA Corrective Action Goal (final cleanup remedies at 95% of the 3,747 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) facilities currently believed to need corrective action by the year 2020). (Read the strategy: The National Enforcement Strategy for RCRA Corrective Action (NESCA): an Enforcement Framework to Help Achieve EPA’s 2020 RCRA Corrective Action Goal.)

NESCA identifies five components to help achieve EPA’s 2020 RCRA Corrective Action Goal:

  1. Follow a process, as set forth in the guidance, to strategically use enforcement to move facilities along the remediation process by prioritizing certain types of facilities for corrective action enforcement;
  2. Engage in robust communication and coordination with states;
  3. Provide ongoing support to Regions and states to address special considerations that arise in the enforcement context;
  4. Provide training and other desired support to regulators; and
  5. Develop improved ways to measure both Federal and state enforcement accomplishments in corrective action.

Implementing NESCA should help:

  • Ensure facility accountability;
  • Provide a level playing field among regulated facilities;
  • Promote open and consistent communication among EPA, states, regulated facilities, the public, and other stakeholders;
  • Promote better use of the range of enforcement and compliance tools available to EPA and authorized States to address enforcement and compliance issues;
  • Provide opportunities for consistent and joint EPA/state enforcement activities incorporating shared approaches among the regulators in prioritizing and targeting for enforcement; and
  • Provide opportunities for enforcement actions using authorities found in statutes other than RCRA or in combination with RCRA, such as joint RCRA/Superfund orders.

Upon issuing the strategy, EPA announced that after 18 months of implementation, the Agency and its state partners would assess the contribution of NESCA in achieving progress toward the 2020 CA Goal. The Assessment of the National Enforcement Strategy for RCRA Corrective Action (NESCA)  (9/27/2012), based on fiscal year 2010 and 2011 data, indicates that there is generally more consideration of enforcement and compliance assurance tools to address contamination at RCRA corrective action facilities during work planning and other meetings. Based on the assessment, EPA intends to continue implementation of NESCA and has identified specific next steps as described in the assessment document.

NESCA is a component of EPA’s Integrated Cleanup Initiative (ICI), a three-year strategy launched in 2010 to identify and implement improvements to EPA’s land cleanup programs.

More information on the 2020 RCRA Corrective Action Goal and the 2020 corrective action universe of facilities is available on EPA's corrective action program goals and results webpage. At the date of NESCA 's issuance, April 2010, 33% of the corrective action universe (approximately 1,200 facilities) had reached remedy construction.

Learn More: RCRA Corrective Action enforcement authorities

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