Revision and republication
Within one hundred and eighty days after December 11, 1980
, the President shall, after notice and opportunity for public comments, revise and republish the national contingency plan for the removal of oil and hazardous substances, originally prepared and published pursuant to section 1321 of title 33
, to reflect and effectuate the responsibilities and powers created by this chapter, in addition to those matters specified in section 1321(c)(2)
See References in Text note below.
of title 33. Such revision shall include a section of the plan to be known as the national hazardous substance response plan which shall establish procedures and standards for responding to releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants, which shall include at a minimum:
methods for discovering and investigating facilities at which hazardous substances have been disposed of or otherwise come to be located;
methods for evaluating, including analyses of relative cost, and remedying any releases or threats of releases from facilities which pose substantial danger to the public health or the environment;
methods and criteria for determining the appropriate extent of removal, remedy, and other measures authorized by this chapter;
appropriate roles and responsibilities for the Federal, State, and local governments and for interstate and nongovernmental entities in effectuating the plan;
provision for identification, procurement, maintenance, and storage of response equipment and supplies;
a method for and assignment of responsibility for reporting the existence of such facilities which may be located on federally owned or controlled properties and any releases of hazardous substances from such facilities;
means of assuring that remedial action measures are cost-effective over the period of potential exposure to the hazardous substances or contaminated materials;
criteria for determining priorities among releases or threatened releases throughout the United States for the purpose of taking remedial action and, to the extent practicable taking into account the potential urgency of such action, for the purpose of taking removal action. Criteria and priorities under this paragraph shall be based upon relative risk or danger to public health or welfare or the environment, in the judgment of the President, taking into account to the extent possible the population at risk, the hazard potential of the hazardous substances at such facilities, the potential for contamination of drinking water supplies, the potential for direct human contact, the potential for destruction of sensitive ecosystems, the damage to natural resources which may affect the human food chain and which is associated with any release or threatened release, the contamination or potential contamination of the ambient air which is associated with the release or threatened release, State preparedness to assume State costs and responsibilities, and other appropriate factors;
based upon the criteria set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the President shall list as part of the plan national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases throughout the United States and shall revise the list no less often than annually. Within one year after December 11, 1980, and annually thereafter, each State shall establish and submit for consideration by the President priorities for remedial action among known releases and potential releases in that State based upon the criteria set forth in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. In assembling or revising the national list, the President shall consider any priorities established by the States. To the extent practicable, the highest priority facilities shall be designated individually and shall be referred to as the “top priority among known response targets”, and, to the extent practicable, shall include among the one hundred highest priority facilities one such facility from each State which shall be the facility designated by the State as presenting the greatest danger to public health or welfare or the environment among the known facilities in such State. A State shall be allowed to designate its highest priority facility only once. Other priority facilities or incidents may be listed singly or grouped for response priority purposes;
specified roles for private organizations and entities in preparation for response and in responding to releases of hazardous substances, including identification of appropriate qualifications and capacity therefor and including consideration of minority firms in accordance with subsection (f); and
standards and testing procedures by which alternative or innovative treatment technologies can be determined to be appropriate for utilization in response actions authorized by this chapter.
The plan shall specify procedures, techniques, materials, equipment, and methods to be employed in identifying, removing, or remedying releases of hazardous substances comparable to those required under section 1321(c)(2)(F) and (G) and (j)(1) of title 33. Following publication of the revised national contingency plan, the response to and actions to minimize damage from hazardous substances releases shall, to the greatest extent possible, be in accordance with the provisions of the plan. The President may, from time to time, revise and republish the national contingency plan.
Petition for assessment of release
Any person who is, or may be, affected by a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant, may petition the President to conduct a preliminary assessment of the hazards to public health and the environment which are associated with such release or threatened release. If the President has not previously conducted a preliminary assessment of such release, the President shall, within 12 months after the receipt of any such petition, complete such assessment or provide an explanation of why the assessment is not appropriate. If the preliminary assessment indicates that the release or threatened release concerned may pose a threat to human health or the environment, the President shall promptly evaluate such release or threatened release in accordance with the hazard ranking system referred to in paragraph (8)(A) of subsection (a) to determine the national priority of such release or threatened release.
Releases from earlier sites
Whenever there has been, after January 1, 1985, a significant release of hazardous substances or pollutants or contaminants from a site which is listed by the President as a “Site Cleaned Up To Date” on the National Priorities List (revised edition, December 1984) the site shall be restored to the National Priorities List, without application of the hazard ranking system.
Special study wastes
This subsection applies to facilities—
which as of October 17, 1986, were not included on, or proposed for inclusion on, the National Priorities List; and
at which special study wastes described in paragraph (2), (3)(A)(ii) or (3)(A)(iii) of section 6921(b) of this title
are present in significant quantities, including any such facility from which there has been a release of a special study waste.
Considerations in adding facilities to NPL
Pending revision of the hazard ranking system under subsection (c), the President shall consider each of the following factors in adding facilities covered by this section to the National Priorities List:
The extent to which hazard ranking system score for the facility is affected by the presence of any special study waste at, or any release from, such facility.
Available information as to the quantity, toxicity, and concentration of hazardous substances that are constituents of any special study waste at, or released from such facility, the extent of or potential for release of such hazardous constituents, the exposure or potential exposure to human population and the environment, and the degree of hazard to human health or the environment posed by the release of such hazardous constituents at such facility. This subparagraph refers only to available information on actual concentrations of hazardous substances and not on the total quantity of special study waste at such facility.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the President to remove any facility which as of October 17, 1986, is included on the National Priorities List from such List, or not to list any facility which as of such date is proposed for inclusion on such list.
Information gathering and analysis
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to preclude the expenditure of monies from the Fund for gathering and analysis of information which will enable the President to consider the specific factors required by paragraph (2).
Deferral to State voluntary cleanups
At the request of a State and subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), the President generally shall defer final listing of an eligible response site on the National Priorities List if the President determines that—
the State, or another party under an agreement with or order from the State, is conducting a response action at the eligible response site—
in compliance with a State program that specifically governs response actions for the protection of public health and the environment; and
that will provide long-term protection of human health and the environment; or
the State is actively pursuing an agreement to perform a response action described in subparagraph (A) at the site with a person that the State has reason to believe is capable of conducting a response action that meets the requirements of subparagraph (A).
Progress toward cleanup
If, after the last day of the 1-year period beginning on the date on which the President proposes to list an eligible response site on the National Priorities List, the President determines that the State or other party is not making reasonable progress toward completing a response action at the eligible response site, the President may list the eligible response site on the National Priorities List.
With respect to an eligible response site under paragraph (1)(B), if, after the last day of the 1-year period beginning on the date on which the President proposes to list the eligible response site on the National Priorities List, an agreement described in paragraph (1)(B) has not been reached, the President may defer the listing of the eligible response site on the National Priorities List for an additional period of not to exceed 180 days if the President determines deferring the listing would be appropriate based on—
the complexity of the site;
substantial progress made in negotiations; and
other appropriate factors, as determined by the President.
The President may decline to defer, or elect to discontinue a deferral of, a listing of an eligible response site on the National Priorities List if the President determines that—
deferral would not be appropriate because the State, as an owner or operator or a significant contributor of hazardous substances to the facility, is a potentially responsible party;
the criteria under the National Contingency Plan for issuance of a health advisory have been met; or
the conditions in paragraphs (1) through (3), as applicable, are no longer being met.
[Pub. L. 96–510, title I, § 105], Dec. 11, 1980, [94 Stat. 2779]; [Pub. L. 99–499, title I, § 105], Oct. 17, 1986, [100 Stat. 1625]; [Pub. L. 107–118, title II, § 232], Jan. 11, 2002, [115 Stat. 2379].)