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Hazardous Waste

Baselines for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Sites

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2005 Corrective Action Baseline

In July 1999, EPA and the authorized States finalized the first RCRA Cleanup Baseline. This is a list of 1,714 facilities that were identified in the early 1990s as appropriate sites for early cleanup when EPA and the States were prioritizing their corrective action workloads.

Because the facilities on the first RCRA Cleanup Baseline served as the basis for the Corrective Action Program’s 2005 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) goals, the list is known as the 2005 Corrective Action Baseline. Progress toward the GPRA goals was measured by two interim cleanup milestones known as the human exposures and groundwater Environmental Indicators (EIs). The Human Exposures EI measured whether or not all human exposure pathways were currently under control or blocked. The Groundwater EI measured whether or not the migration of contaminated groundwater had been stopped.

The 2005 GPRA goals aimed to have human exposures controlled at 95 percent of these facilities and the migration of contaminated groundwater controlled at 70 percent of these facilities. By the deadline of September 30, 2005, EPA surpassed both goals, reaching 96 percent and 78 percent, respectively.

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2008 Corrective Action Baseline

The second RCRA Cleanup Baseline, known as the 2008 Corrective Action Baseline, represented an expanded list of 1,968 facilities at which EPA and the authorized States focused their attention from 2006 to 2008. Most of the facilities on the first Baseline were also included on the 2008 Corrective Action Baseline even though they have since been cleaned up. Facilities transferred to the Superfund program are the major exception, with the Superfund program continuing to track the EIs at these sites.

The facilities on this list served as the basis for the Corrective Action Program's 2008 GPRA goals. The Agency continued to emphasize the protection of both human health and groundwater resources during these years, but also expanded its focus to include final remedy events. The 2008 GPRA goals were to have human exposures controlled at 95 percent of these facilities, the migration of contaminated groundwater controlled at 81 percent of these facilities, final remedy decisions made at 36 percent of these facilities, and final remedies constructed at 27 percent of these facilities. The RCRA Corrective Action program surpassed all four goals, reaching 96 percent, 83 percent, 43 percent, and 34 percent, respectively.

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2020 Corrective Action Baseline

In 2009, the 2020 Baseline was introduced. This list represented the 3,746 facilities where EPA and the authorized States focused their attention. EPA and the authorized states have an aspirational goal of largely implementing final remedies at 95 percent of facilities requiring corrective action by the year 2020.

The 2020 Baseline includes properties that are heavily contaminated, but also others that were contaminated but have since been cleaned up. Other properties on the Baseline await full investigation and may require little or no future remediation. EPA and the authorized states have made significant progress towards this goal, but the work continues. Inclusion in the 2020 Corrective Action Baseline does not imply failure on the part of a facility to meet its RCRA obligations.

Periodically, the list has been updated for maintenance and quality control. In 2010, the 2020 Baseline was updated to show all 3,747 facilities and in 2013, the 2020 Baseline was updated again to reflect 3,779 total facilities.

Federal facilities represent 5.3 percent (199 of 3,779) of the 2020 Corrective Action Baseline. A majority of federal facilities on the Baseline are either U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Department of Energy sites.

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