Superfund: NPL Deletion Guidance and Policy
Deletion of sites from the NPL may occur once all response actions are complete and all cleanup goals have been achieved. EPA is responsible for processing deletions with concurrence from the State. Deleted sites may still require five-year reviews to assess protectiveness. If future site conditions warrant, additional response actions can be taken, using the Superfund Trust Fund or by Potentially Responsible Parties. Relisting on the NPL is not necessary; however, sites can be restored to the NPL if extensive response work is required. EPA can also delete portions of sites that meet deletion criteria.You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
Deleting Sites from the National Priorities List
- Close Out Procedures for National Priorities List Sites Guidance
EPA’s 2011 Close Out Procedures for National Priorities List Sites guidance describes the process for accomplishing remedial action completion, construction completion, site completion, partial deletion and site deletion for NPL sites.
- Partial Deletion of Sites Listed on the National Priorities List
The Partial Deletion Rule, which allows the EPA to delete portions of NPL sites, provided that deletion criteria are met, was published in the Federal Register on November 1, 1995. Previously, EPA’s policy had been to delete sites only after cleanup of the entire site has been completed. However, waiting to delete an entire site does not communicate the successful cleanup of portions of the site. Total site cleanup may take many years, while portions of the site may have been cleaned up and may be available for productive use. Such a portion may be a defined geographic area of the site, or may be a specific medium at the site, e.g., surface soil, depending on the nature or extent of the release(s).
- Direct Final Process for Deletion
Beginning in 1999, EPA adopted a streamlined approach to the process of deleting sites from the National Priorities List, called a Notice of Direct Final Action to Delete. With this approach, the Notice of Intent to Delete (NOID) and the Notice of Deletion (NOD) are published in the Federal Register on the same date. This combination of steps reduces the amount of time it takes to finalize a site deletion. Using this process, EPA will publish both a NOID and a Notice of Direct Final Action to Delete in the Federal Register. The Notice of Direct Final Action to Delete includes the statement that the direct final action will become effective unless EPA receives significant adverse or critical comments during the 30-day public comment period. If no significant adverse or critical comments are received, the deletion will become effective without any further EPA action and the site will be deleted from the NPL. Should significant adverse or critical comments be received within the comment period, EPA will publish a notice of withdrawal of the direct final rule, prepare a response to the comments received, and continue with the rulemaking process on the basis of the proposal to delete and the comments received.