October 15, 2020

New Corrective Action Goals for the 2020s

Following the success of its “2020 corrective action baseline” (discussed in a previous article), EPA has issued its RCRA corrective action vision, mission, and goals for 2030. The corrective action (CA) program objectives for the next decade result from discussions with stakeholder groups, including facility owners/operators, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials. These goals will impact how RCRA-authorized states and EPA regions interact with the thousands of RCRA-permitted and interim status facilities as they move towards completing their CA measures.


“RCRA corrective action cleanups support healthy and sustainable communities where people and the environment are protected from hazardous contamination today and into the future.”


“EPA, states, and tribal partners work together to ensure that owners and operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities conduct effective and efficient cleanups to protect human health and the environment, support continued use, and make land ready for reuse including, if necessary, placement of controls to protect communities into the future.”


The agency established five goals to be met throughout the next ten years. These goals pertain to the RCRA CA program as a whole and not necessarily to individual cleanup efforts.

  1. Initiate and complete CA cleanups efficiently and expeditiously. Work plans and associated progress will be publicly available.
  2. Eliminate or control adverse impacts beyond CA facility boundaries when possible. CA will address 1) emerging risks (e.g., vapor intrusion), and 2) timelines for facilities brought into the program post-2020.
  3. Ensure facility property will be safe for continued use or reasonably foreseeable new uses. Procedures to establish timelines for facilities brought into the program post-2020 will be developed.
  4. By 2025, identify key elements of effective long-term stewardship for CA cleanups. Authorized states and EPA regions will have approaches in place to ensure implementation of these elements.
  5. By 2022, establish procedures to adjust the universe of facilities in the cleanup pipeline to reflect current program priorities.


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This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.