of MEP and others specify a maximum allowable amount of LNAPL in a monitoring well (e.g., no visible sheen or 1/8-inch thickness). Some state statutes include “LNAPL thickness-in-a-well requirements” and definitions for when LNAPL remediation efforts may be discontinued. Some states may be bound by statute to remove all LNAPL based on a law or policy stipulating nondegradation of waters.
Current and former federal facilities are subject to the same environmental cleanup laws as other properties (see Section 120 of CERCLA), but there are differences. For example, in 1986 Congress established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (as part of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, SARA, 1986), requiring the Defense Department to fund its own cleanups. Other federal agencies are similarly liable for the remediation of their properties.
In general, the Defense Department manages most of its facilities under CERCLA, whether or not they have been listed on the NPL. A major reason for this is that in 1987 President Reagan assigned lead agency status to federal responsible parties. At NPL sites, the lead agency is supposed to negotiate a Federal Facilities Agreement with EPA and its state counterparts. These agreements define the scope and timing of the cleanup, and they establish a dispute resolution mechanism whereby the EPA administrator is ultimately responsible for resolving differences between regulators and responsible parties. Federal responsible parties are responsible for conducting five-year reviews under CERCLA, but EPA must approve the finding of protectiveness.
The major federal responsible party agencies, the Departments of Defense and Energy, maintain robust community involvement programs, even at facilities that are not on the NPL. Currently the Defense Department sponsors 191 site-specific Restoration Advisory Boards covering 218 installations (DoD, 2010), and DOE hosts similar bodies at most of it major sites.
A fraction of contaminated federal facilities are regulated under RCRA. In 1992, Congress amended the law to make explicit that states have the legal authority to enforce RCRA cleanup requirements at federal facilities. In the Committee’s opinion, this may be a major reason that federal agencies prefer CERCLA, where they will maintain lead agency status, even though RCRA provides greater flexibility in establishing remedial objectives and points of compliance.
Federal facilities that are being transferred to non-federal ownership are subject to additional oversight under CERCLA Section 120(h). In most cases, remedies must be in place and operating properly and successfully