(a) General. The purpose of this section is to describe the methods, procedures, and criteria the lead agency shall use to collect data, as required, and evaluate releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The evaluation may consist of two steps: a remedial preliminary assessment (PA) and a remedial site inspection (SI).
(b) Remedial preliminary assessment.
(1) The lead agency shall perform a remedial PA on all sites entered into the SEMS remedial assessment active inventory as defined in § 300.5 to:
(i) Eliminate from further consideration those sites that pose no threat to public health or the environment;
(ii) Determine if there is any potential need for removal action;
(iii) Set priorities for site inspections; and
(iv) Gather existing data to facilitate later evaluation of the release pursuant to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) if warranted.
(2) A remedial PA shall consist of a review of existing information about a release such as information on the pathways of exposure, exposure targets, and source and nature of release. A remedial PA shall also include an off-site reconnaissance as appropriate. A remedial PA may include an on-site reconnaissance where appropriate.
(3) If the remedial PA indicates that a removal action may be warranted, the lead agency shall initiate removal evaluation pursuant to § 300.410.
(4) In performing a remedial PA, the lead agency may complete the EPA Preliminary Assessment form, available from EPA regional offices, or its equivalent, and shall prepare a PA report, which shall include:
(i) A description of the release;
(ii) A description of the probable nature of the release; and
(iii) A recommendation on whether further action is warranted, which lead agency should conduct further action, and whether an SI or removal action or both should be undertaken.
(5) Any person may petition the lead federal agency (EPA or the appropriate federal agency in the case of a release or suspected release from a federal facility), to perform a PA of a release when such person is, or may be, affected by a release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Such petitions shall be addressed to the EPA Regional Administrator for the region in which the release is located, except that petitions for PAs involving federal facilities should be addressed to the head of the appropriate federal agency.
(i) Petitions shall be signed by the petitioner and shall contain the following:
(A) The full name, address, and phone number of petitioner;
(B) A description, as precisely as possible, of the location of the release; and
(C) How the petitioner is or may be affected by the release.
(ii) Petitions should also contain the following information to the extent available:
(A) What type of substances were or may be released;
(B) The nature of activities that have occurred where the release is located; and
(C) Whether local and state authorities have been contacted about the release.
(iii) The lead federal agency shall complete a remedial or removal PA within one year of the date of receipt of a complete petition pursuant to paragraph (b)(5) of this section, if one has not been performed previously, unless the lead federal agency determines that a PA is not appropriate. Where such a determination is made, the lead federal agency shall notify the petitioner and will provide a reason for the determination.
(iv) When determining if performance of a PA is appropriate, the lead federal agency shall take into consideration:
(A) Whether there is information indicating that a release has occurred or there is a threat of a release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant; and
(B) Whether the release is eligible for response under CERCLA.
(c) Remedial site inspection.
(1) The lead agency shall perform a remedial SI as appropriate to:
(i) Eliminate from further consideration those releases that pose no significant threat to public health or the environment;
(ii) Determine the potential need for removal action;
(iii) Collect or develop additional data, as appropriate, to evaluate the release pursuant to the HRS; and
(iv) Collect data in addition to that required to score the release pursuant to the HRS, as appropriate, to better characterize the release for more effective and rapid initiation of the RI/FS or response under other authorities.
(2) The remedial SI shall build upon the information collected in the remedial PA. The remedial SI shall involve, as appropriate, both on- and off-site field investigatory efforts, and sampling.
(3) If the remedial SI indicates that removal action may be appropriate, the lead agency shall initiate removal site evaluation pursuant to § 300.410.
(4) Prior to conducting field sampling as part of site inspections, the lead agency shall develop sampling and analysis plans that shall provide a process for obtaining data of sufficient quality and quantity to satisfy data needs. The sampling and analysis plans shall consist of two parts:
(i) The field sampling plan, which describes the number, type, and location of samples, and the type of analyses, and
(ii) The quality assurance project plan (QAPP), which describes policy, organization, and functional activities, and the data quality objectives and measures necessary to achieve adequate data for use in site evaluation and hazard ranking system activities.
(5) Upon completion of a remedial SI, the lead agency shall prepare a report that includes the following:
(i) A description/history/nature of waste handling;
(ii) A description of known contaminants;
(iii) A description of pathways of migration of contaminants;
(iv) An identification and description of human and environmental targets; and
(v) A recommendation on whether further action is warranted.