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Superfund

Superfund: Five Year Reviews

Five-year reviews (FYRs) generally are required by CERCLA or program policy when hazardous substances remain on site above levels that permit unrestricted use and unlimited exposure. Five-year reviews provide an opportunity to evaluate the implementation and performance of a remedy to determine whether it remains protective of human health and the environment. Generally, reviews take place five years following the start of a CERCLA response action, and are repeated every succeeding five years so long as future uses remain restricted. Five-year reviews can be performed by EPA or the lead agency for a site. EPA retains responsibility for determining the protectiveness of the remedy.

  • CERCLA §121(c) states the following: “If the President selects a remedial action that results in any hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remaining at the site, the President shall review such remedial action no less often than each five years after the initiation of such remedial action to assure that human health and the environment are being protected by the remedial action being implemented. In addition, if upon such review it is the judgment of the President that action is appropriate at such site in accordance with section [104] or [106], the President shall take or require such action. The President shall report to the Congress a list of facilities for which such review is required, the results of all such reviews, and any actions taken as a result of such reviews.”
  • The National Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR Part 300.430(f)(4)(ii) states: "If a remedial action is selected that results in hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remaining at the site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure, the lead agency shall review such action no less than every five years after the initiation of the selected remedial action."