Frequent Questions

What is the difference between a removal action and a remedial action?

Removal actions are immediate, short-term responses intended to protect people from immediate threats posed by hazardous waste sites. Examples of removal actions are excavating contaminated soil, erecting a security fence, or stabilizing a berm, dike, or impoundment. Removal actions may also include taking abandoned drums to a proper disposal facility to prevent the release of hazardous substances into the environment. Removal actions may occur at National Priorities List (NPL) or non-NPL sites.

Remedial actions are long-term cleanups designed to prevent or minimize the release of hazardous substances and to reduce the risk and danger to public health or the environment.

Remedial actions (RA) follow the remedial design (RD) phase of the Superfund Cleanup Process and are a part of the actual construction or implementation phase of the cleanup. The RD/RA is based on the cleanup specifications described in the Record of Decision (ROD). An example of a remedial action is to remove hazardous material from groundwater using pump and treat technologies.

For more information please see the Remedial Design/Remedial Action page.




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