Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. CERCLA established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites, provided for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites, and established a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified.
Remedial Investigations/Feasibility Studies
Two key aspects of CERCLA/Superfund studies are remedial investigations and feasibility studies. Remedial investigations are broad-scale investigations of a site to determine the nature and extent of contaminants and the effects on the environment, including human health and the biological populations. Given the nature and extent of contamination, in combination with an assessment of the potential risk, a list of potential clean-up/mitigation/remediation actions are developed and assessed for their feasibility. Feasibility studies assess potential actions in terms of comparisons to background conditions, technical feasibility, ability to meet appropriate standards (Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements or ARARs), and cost.