Superfund Remedial Performance Measures
The Superfund remedial program has six performance measures that it employs to accomplish specific environmental results. In October 2014, Superfund began reporting accomplishments for all performance measures on this page at sites with Superfund alternative approach (SAA) agreements under the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance's SAA policy.
On this page:
- Remedial Site Assessment Completions
- Construction Completions
- Remedial Action Project Completions
- Environmental Indicators
- Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use
Remedial Site Assessment Completions
This measure tracks the number of remedial site assessments completed under the federal Superfund program by EPA and its federal and state partners. The assessments are used to determine if sites warrant short- or long-term cleanup attention under a Superfund-managed or -monitored program.
This milestone indicates all physical construction required for the cleanup of the entire site has been completed (even though final cleanup levels may not have been achieved). For example, a groundwater treatment system has been constructed though it may need to operate for a number of years in order for all contaminants to be removed from the groundwater.
In FY 2018, construction completions occurred at two SAA sites. As of October 2018, there have been 16 construction completions at SAA sites over the life of the Superfund program.
Remedial Action Project Completions
This measure augments the site-wide Construction Completion measure and applies it to the construction or implementation of a discrete scope of activities supporting a Superfund site cleanup. Each remedial action project is generally designed to achieve progress toward specific remedial action objectives identified in a remedy decision document (e.g. Record of Decision (ROD), ROD amendment, or Explanation of Significant Difference).
Superfund environmental indicators are measures of program performance used to communicate tangible progress made in protecting human health and the environment through site cleanup activities.
Superfund environmental indicators are used to report:
- The number of sites at which current human exposure to contamination is under control or falls within the levels specified as safe by EPA; and
- The number of sites where contaminated groundwater migration has been controlled to prevent further spread of contaminants and prevent unacceptable discharge levels to surface water, sediments or ecosystems.
Human Exposure Under Control
This measure tracks final and deleted National Priorities List (NPL) and non-NPL Superfund alternative approach sites where all identified unacceptable human exposures from site contamination for current land and/or groundwater use conditions have been controlled.
Human Exposure Status Definitions
- Current human exposure is under control - Sites are assigned to this category when assessments for human exposures indicate there are no unacceptable human exposure pathways and the Region has determined the site is under control for current conditions site wide.
- Insufficient data to determine human exposure control status - Due to uncertainty regarding exposures, one cannot draw conclusions as to whether human exposures are controlled. Sites are typically assigned to this category when responses have not been initiated or response actions have been initiated but have not yet generated reliable information to make an evaluation for this indicator - i.e., there is not sufficient information to determine whether there are any current, complete unacceptable human exposure pathways at the site, therefore no determination is possible.
- Current human exposures is not under control - Sites are assigned to this category when 1) contamination has been detected at a site at an unsafe level, and 2) a reasonable expectation exists that people may be exposed to the contamination.
Groundwater Migration Under Control
This measure tracks final and deleted National Priorities List (NPL) and non-NPL Superfund alternative approach sites where either: 1) contamination is below protective, risk-based levels or, if not; 2) where the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized, there is no unacceptable discharge to surface water, and monitoring will be conducted to confirm that affected groundwater remains in the original area of contamination.
Contaminated Groundwater Status Definitions
- Contaminated groundwater migration is under control - indicates that all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination has been reviewed and that the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized and there is no unacceptable discharge to surface water and monitoring will be conducted to confirm that affected groundwater remains in the original area of contamination.
- Insufficient data to determine migration control status - Due to uncertainty regarding contaminated groundwater migration, one cannot draw conclusions as to whether the migration of contaminated groundwater is stabilized.
- Contaminated groundwater migration is not under control - indicates that all information on known and reasonably expected groundwater contamination has been reviewed and that the migration of contaminated groundwater is not stabilized.
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU)
The Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure applies to final and deleted construction-complete NPL sites and sites with SAA agreements in place. These sites are considered SWRAU when the following applies for the entire site:
- All cleanup goals in the Record(s) of Decision or other remedy decision document(s) have been achieved for media that may affect current and reasonably anticipated future land uses of the site, so that there are no unacceptable risks; and
- All institutional or other controls required in the Record(s) of Decision or other remedy decision documents have been put in place.