Purpose: In an effort to clarify FY2008 and FY2009 environmental benefit reporting requirements, OC communicated end-of-year guidance to the regions implementing a standard methodology for calculating benefits from RCRA Subtitle C, RCRA Corrective Action, and CERCLA enforcement cases. The guidance aims to clarify areas of ambiguity that existed previously in reporting environmental benefits of cases which achieve similar outcomes but occur under different program authorities. The methodology for calculating the benefits now is based on the enforcement action remedy (e.g., what activities the facility must implement as a result of the enforcement action), rather than the statutory authority under which the action is taken. The new “nature of remedy” concept employs a standard approach for quantifying results from complying actions that essentially achieve the same environmental remedy, such as removal of contaminants, capping contaminated areas, or reducing waste stream output. Because this approach is based on what actions the enforcement action is requiring of the defendant/respondent, regardless of statute, the calculations and reporting are more apparent and understandable.
The end-of-year guidance issued for FY2008 and FY2009 reporting remains in effect for FY2010. The documents are: 1) Reporting RCRA C cases in FY08, dated October 8, 2008; and, 2) FY09 RCRA Corrective Action and Superfund, dated October 1, 2009. The regions are asked to continue reporting RCRA hazardous waste and CERCLA environmental benefits (including pollutant reductions, contaminated media addressed, and hazardous waste minimized) consistent with these two guidance documents.
For RCRA §7003 cases that conclude with direct environmental benefits addressing hazardous waste and/or hazardous substances, the entire mass of the hazardous waste amount in pounds would be reported in ICIS using the pollutant name, “hazardous waste.” For RCRA Corrective Action §§3008(h) & 7003 cases, and CERCLA §§ 104/122, 106, 120 cases, direct environmental benefits would either be reported as pounds of hazardous waste or cubic yards of contaminated medium (“VCMA”). In deciding whether the environmental benefits should be counted in the hazardous waste or VCMA category, the general rule is that a pollutant which exists in its original form as generated and is containerized (e.g., drums, roll-off containers, containment areas), separately identifiable or otherwise distinct from any media it might be in, would be reported as “hazardous waste.” In contrast, any pollutant entrained in traditional contaminated media (i.e., soil, sediment, or groundwater aquifer) or debris (e.g., pieces of wood, cement, decommissioned equipment) would be reported as VCMA. (Additionally, constituent pollutants of the hazardous waste and VCMA amounts, if known, are to be manually reported in the EOY certification workbook.)
The above guidance coincides with the principles and reporting concepts currently being developed by the Environmental Outcome Reporting Management Committee (EORMC). The EORMC work is proceeding and the committee’s recommendations for implementing expanded outcome reporting guidance are expected to be implemented in FY2011. Under the new approach, quantifiable benefits are measured and reported in three major categories: 1) Removal and Restoration, 2) Reduction of Ongoing Releases, and 3) Prevention of Future Releases.
Questions or concerns about environmental benefits reporting should be directed to Donna Inman, OC/National Planning, Measures and Analysis Staff, at 202-564-2511, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data Entry: Hazardous waste benefits should be entered to ICIS using the pollutant name, “hazardous waste.” Regions are to manually report speciated amounts from cases with hazardous waste and VCMA results in the end-of-year certification workbook. Speciated pollutants/chemicals in the hazardous waste may also be entered to ICIS and, if entered, the amount for each such entry must be zero.
Data Retrieval: Hazardous waste and VCMA environmental benefits are retrieved from ICIS using the Direct and Preventative Environmental Benefits report.
March 22, 2010
FY 2010 Reporting Plan