Frequent Questions

What are the fundamental principles of Superfund administrative reform?

The fundamental principles of Superfund administrative reform are designed to make the Superfund program work faster, fairer, and more efficiently.

EPA implemented a series of far-reaching administrative improvements known as the Superfund Reforms that consist of three rounds of initiatives and pilots that EPA officials developed within CERCLA's existing statutory framework. EPA's Superfund Reforms impact nearly every aspect of the Superfund program, addressing the areas of enforcement, cleanup, risk assessment, public involvement, environmental justice, economic redevelopment, innovative technology, and State and Tribal empowerment.

The first round of Superfund Reforms expanded public involvement and aimed to improve the pace, cost, and fairness of the program. The second round of reforms sought to administratively test or implement many of the proposal's innovations through both pilot projects and new or revised Agency guidance. This round strengthened and improved the program through initiatives in enforcement, economic redevelopment, public involvement and environmental justice, innovative technology, and State and Tribal empowerment. Finally, the third round took a "common sense" approach to reform and targeted the concerns of diverse stakeholders. Several reforms in this final round focused on making cleanup decisions more cost-effective and protective of human health and the environment. Other initiatives aimed to reduce litigation and transaction costs, and to keep States and communities more informed and involved in cleanup decisions.

The Superfund administrative reforms include these eight ongoing initiatives:

  • Implementing the Superfund Accelerated Clean-Up Model (SACM);
  • Accelerating the completion of site cleanup construction (construction completions);
  • Strengthening the management of cleanup contracts;
  • Promoting the enforcement of site cleanup responsibilities;
  • Accelerating the cleanup of hazardous wastes at closing military bases;
  • Promoting the development and use of innovative cleanup technologies;
  • Enhancing cleanup compliance monitoring; and
  • Improving the effectiveness of recovering site cleanup costs.


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