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Writing Five-Year Reviews at Superfund Sites

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Five-Year Review Guidance

New!

Recommended Five-Year Review template released!

  • Please visit the Tools for Writing FYRs section of this page for document links.
  • Please see the January 20, 2016 transmittal memorandum for instructions on use and applicability.

The five-year review (FYR) requirement applies to all remedial actions selected under CERCLA §121. Therefore, sites with CERCLA remedial actions may be subject to a five-year review. Consistent with Executive Order 12580, other federal agencies are responsible for ensuring that five-year reviews are conducted at sites where required or appropriate.

EPA’s Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance, OSWER Directive 9355.7-03B-P, dated June 2001, promotes consistent implementation of the five-year review process. To facilitate consistency in writing five-year review reports, a Microsoft Word version of the guidance and appendices are provided for use as tools in report development, see Tools for writing FYRs below.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

The guidance documents discussed can be found in the document table following the additional information.

Overview of the Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance

Section 121 of CERCLA, as amended by SARA, requires that remedial actions which result in any hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remaining at the site be subject to a five-year review. The NCP further provides that remedial actions which result in any hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants remaining at the site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure be reviewed every five years to ensure protection of human health and the environment.

This guidance is designed and intended to:

- Provide an approach for conducting five-year reviews;

- Facilitate consistency across the ten EPA Regions;

- Clarify current policy; and

- Discuss roles and responsibilities of various entities in conducting or supporting five-year reviews.

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Five-Year Review Recommended Template

The purpose of this guidance for the recommended template is to provide an approach for preparing Five-Year Review (FYR) reports in a manner that is intended to promote national consistency, to reduce non-essential information and to decrease repetitiveness in the report. The 2001 Comprehensive Five-Year Review guidance continues to address the recommended process for conducting FYRs.

Beginning in fiscal year 2017, the Five-Year Review Recommended Template should be used for all FYRs in the Remedial Program. The Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office is reviewing the template for potential application at Federal facility sites subject to EPA oversight. For FYRs in the Remedial Program completed during fiscal year 2016, the use of this template is optional at fund or private party sites and at the discretion of the region. Please visit the Tools for Writing FYRs section of this page for more information. Go to Tools for writing FYRs.

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Assessing Protectiveness at Sites for Vapor Intrusion: Supplement to the 'Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance'

This guidance supplements OSWER's 2001 'Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance' and provides recommendations for assessing the protectiveness of a remedy for vapor intrusion at private and federal facility Superfund sites during the five-year review process.

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Recommended Evaluation of Institutional Controls: Supplement to the 'Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance'

This guidance supplements OSWER's 2001 'Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance' and provides recommendations for conducting five-year reviews in a manner similar to the review of engineering or other remedy components.

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Assessing Protectiveness for Asbestos Sites: Supplemental Guidance to the Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance

This guidance supplements OSWER's 2001 'Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance' and provides recommendations for evaluating protectiveness of a remedy for asbestos contamination at private and Federal Superfund sites during the five-year review process. This document is supplemental to existing guidance on five-year reviews (Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance, EPA 2001 ) and provides additional information related to existing guidance for investigating asbestos-contaminated Superfund sites (see the Framework for Investigating Asbestos-Contaminated Superfund Sites, EPA 2008).

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Clarifying the Use of Protectiveness Determinations for CERCLA Five-Year Reviews

The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify the use of protectiveness determinations in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Five-Year Reviews (FYR). It provides general guidance for the use of specific protectiveness determinations and recommends language to be used when drafting a protectiveness statement. The information provided in this memorandum supplements, but does not supersede, the language in the "Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance," OSWER No. 9355. 7-0JB-P (June 2001).

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Elevating Site-Specific Five-Year Review Protectiveness Determination Issues between HQ and Regional Superfund Program Offices

To continue to strengthen national consistency in protectiveness determinations during the FYR process and to resolve substantive differences in interpretation, the process described in this memorandum encourages opportunities for early and open discussions of site-specific protectiveness disagreements between OSRTI and the regions and provides a framework by which those issues can be resolved.

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Five-Year Reviews, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Answers

The purpose of the frequently asked questions is to clarify EPA’s Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance (OSWER No. 9355.7-03B-P), June 2001.

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Search Five Year Review Policy and Guidance
Document Title Date Document ID
Title Date Document ID

Collection: 31227

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Tools for Writing FYRs

2016 Five-Year Review Recommended Template

FYR Addendum Sample

FYR Interview Form (2001 FYR Guidance Appendix C)

FYR Site Inspection Form (2001 FYR Guidance Appendix D)

FYR Summary Form

2001 FYR Guidance: Templates

  • Note: See instructions related the 2016 Five-Year Review Recommended Template (January 20, 2016) for guidance related to the use of this template.
  • 2001 FYR Guidance Appendix Template (.DOCX)(35 pp, 101 K, June 2001)

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