(1) States are encouraged to undertake actions authorized under subpart E. Section 104(d)(1) of CERCLA authorizes EPA to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with a state, political subdivision, or a federally recognized Indian tribe to carry out Fund-financed response actions authorized under CERCLA, when EPA determines that the state, the political subdivision, or federally recognized Indian tribe has the capability to undertake such actions. EPA will use a cooperative agreement to transfer funds to those entities to undertake Fund-financed response activities. The requirements for states, political subdivisions, or Indian tribes to receive funds as a lead or support agency for response are addressed at 40 CFR part 35, subpart O.
(2) For EPA-lead Fund-financed remedial planning activities, including, but not limited to, remedial investigations, feasibility studies, and remedial designs, the state agency acceptance of the support agency role during an EPA-lead response shall be documented in a letter, SMOA, or cooperative agreement. Superfund state contracts are unnecessary for this purpose.
(3) Cooperative agreements and Superfund state contracts are only appropriate for non-Fund-financed response actions if a state intends to seek credit for remedial action expenses under § 300.510.
(b) Indian tribe involvement during response. To be afforded substantially the same treatment as states under section 104 of CERCLA, the governing body of the Indian tribe must:
(1) Be federally recognized; and
(2) Have a tribal governing body that is currently performing governmental functions to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the affected population or to protect the environment within a defined geographic area; and
(3) Have jurisdiction over a site at which Fund-financed response, including pre-remedial activities, is contemplated.
(c) State involvement in PA/SI and National Priorities List process. EPA shall ensure state involvement in the listing and deletion process by providing states opportunities for review, consultation, or concurrence specified in this section.
(1) EPA shall consult with states as appropriate on the information to be used in developing HRS scores for releases.
(2) EPA shall, to the extent feasible, provide the state 30 working days to review releases which were scored by EPA and which will be considered for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL).
(3) EPA shall provide the state 30 working days to review and concur on the Notice of Intent to Delete a release from the NPL. Section 300.425 describes the EPA/state consultation and concurrence process for deleting releases from the NPL.
(d) State involvement in RI/FS process. A key component of the EPA/state partnership shall be the communication of potential federal and state ARARs and, as appropriate, other pertinent advisories, criteria, or guidance to be considered (TBCs).
(1) In accordance with §§ 300.400(g) and 300.430, the lead and support agencies shall identify their respective potential ARARs and communicate them to each other in a timely manner, i.e., no later than the early stages of the comparative analysis described in § 300.430(e)(9), such that sufficient time is available for the lead agency to consider and incorporate all potential ARARs without inordinate delays and duplication of effort. The lead and support agencies may also identify TBCs and communicate them in a timely manner.
(2) When a state and EPA have entered into a SMOA, the SMOA may specify a consultation process which requires the lead agency to solicit potential ARARs at specified points in the remedial planning and remedy selection processes. At a minimum, the SMOA shall include the points specified in § 300.515(h)(2). The SMOA shall specify timeframes for support agency response to lead agency requests to ensure that potential ARARs are identified and communicated in a timely manner. Such timeframes must also be documented in site-specific agreements. The SMOA may also discuss identification and communication of TBCs.
(3) If EPA in its statement of a proposed plan intends to waive any state-identified ARARs, or does not agree with the state that a certain state standard is an ARAR, it shall formally notify the state when it submits the RI/FS report for state review or responds to the state's submission of the RI/FS report.
(4) EPA shall respond to state comments on waivers from or disagreements about state ARARs, as well as the preferred alternative when making the RI/FS report and proposed plan available for public comment.
(e) State involvement in selection of remedy.
(1) Both EPA and the state shall be involved in preliminary discussions of the alternatives addressed in the FS prior to preparation of the proposed plan and ROD. At the conclusion of the RI/FS, the lead agency, in conjunction with the support agency, shall develop a proposed plan. The support agency shall have an opportunity to comment on the plan. The lead agency shall publish a notice of availability of the RI/FS report and a brief analysis of the proposed plan pursuant to § 300.430(e) and (f). Included in the proposed plan shall be a statement that the lead and support agencies have reached agreement or, where this is not the case, a statement explaining the concerns of the support agency with the lead agency's proposed plan. The state may not publish a proposed plan that EPA has not approved. EPA may assume the lead from the state if agreement cannot be reached.
(i) EPA and the state shall identify, at least annually, sites for which RODs will be prepared during the next fiscal year, in accordance with § 300.515(h)(1). For all EPA-lead sites, EPA shall prepare the ROD and provide the state an opportunity to concur with the recommended remedy. For Fund-financed state-lead sites, EPA and the state shall designate sites, in a site-specific agreement, for which the state shall prepare the ROD and seek EPA's concurrence and adoption of the remedy specified therein, and sites for which EPA shall prepare the ROD and seek the state's concurrence. EPA and the state may designate sites for which the state shall prepare the ROD for non-Fund-financed state-lead enforcement response actions (i.e., actions taken under state law) at an NPL site. The state may seek EPA's concurrence in the remedy specified therein. Either EPA or the state may choose not to designate a site as state-lead.
(ii) State concurrence on a ROD is not a prerequisite to EPA's selecting a remedy, i.e., signing a ROD, nor is EPA's concurrence a prerequisite to a state's selecting a remedy at a non-Fund-financed state-lead enforcement site under state law. Unless EPA's Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response or Regional Administrator concurs in writing with a state-prepared ROD, EPA shall not be deemed to have approved the state decision. A state may not proceed with a Fund-financed response action unless EPA has first concurred in and adopted the ROD. Section 300.510(a) specifies limitations on EPA's proceeding with a remedial action without state assurances.
(iii) The lead agency shall provide the support agency with a copy of the signed ROD for remedial actions to be conducted pursuant to CERCLA.
(iv) On state-lead sites identified for EPA concurrence, the state generally shall be expected to maintain its lead agency status through the completion of the remedial action.
(f) Enhancement of remedy.
(1) A state may ask EPA to make changes in or expansions of a remedial action selected under subpart E.
(i) If EPA finds that the proposed change or expansion is necessary and appropriate to the EPA-selected remedial action, the remedy may be modified (consistent with § 300.435(c)(2)) and any additional costs paid as part of the remedial action.
(ii) If EPA finds that the proposed change or expansion is not necessary to the selected remedial action, but would not conflict or be inconsistent with the EPA-selected remedy, EPA may agree to integrate the proposed change or expansion into the planned CERCLA remedial work if:
(A) The state agrees to fund the entire additional cost associated with the change or expansion; and
(B) The state agrees to assume the lead for supervising the state-funded component of the remedy or, if EPA determines that the state-funded component cannot be conducted as a separate phase or activity, for supervising the remedial design and construction of the entire remedy.
(2) Where a state does not concur in a remedial action secured by EPA under CERCLA section 106, and the state desires to have the remedial action conform to an ARAR that has been waived under § 300.430(f)(1)(ii)(C), a state may seek to have that remedial action so conform, in accordance with the procedures set out in CERCLA section 121(f)(2) .
(g) State involvement in remedial design/remedial action. The extent and nature of state involvement during remedial design and remedial action shall be specified in site-specific cooperative agreements or Superfund state contracts, consistent with 40 CFR part 35, subpart O. For Fund-financed remedial actions, the lead and support agencies shall conduct a joint inspection at the conclusion of construction of the remedial action to determine that the remedy has been constructed in accordance with the ROD and with the remedial design.
(h) Requirements for state involvement in absence of SMOA. In the absence of a SMOA, EPA and the state shall comply with the requirements in § 300.515(h). If the SMOA does not address all of the requirements specified in § 300.515(h), EPA and the state shall comply with any unaddressed requirements in that section.
(1) Annual consultations. EPA shall conduct consultations with states at least annually to establish priorities and identify and document in writing the lead for remedial and enforcement response for each NPL site within the state for the upcoming fiscal year. States shall be given the opportunity to participate in long-term planning efforts for remedial and enforcement response during these annual consultations.
(2) Identification of ARARs and TBCs. The lead and support agencies shall discuss potential ARARs during the scoping of the RI/FS. The lead agency shall request potential ARARs from the support agency no later than the time that the site characterization data are available. The support agency shall communicate in writing those potential ARARs to the lead agency within 30 working days of receipt of the lead agency request for these ARARs. The lead and support agencies may also discuss and communicate other pertinent advisories, criteria, or guidance to be considered (TBCs). After the initial screening of alternatives has been completed but prior to initiation of the comparative analysis conducted during the detailed analysis phase of the FS, the lead agency shall request that the support agency communicate any additional requirements that are applicable or relevant and appropriate to the alternatives contemplated within 30 working days of receipt of this request. The lead agency shall thereafter consult the support agency to ensure that identified ARARs and TBCs are updated as appropriate.
(3) Support agency review of lead agency documents. The lead agency shall provide the support agency an opportunity to review and comment on the RI/FS, proposed plan, ROD, and remedial design, and any proposed determinations on potential ARARs and TBCs. The support agency shall have a minimum of 10 working days and a maximum of 15 working days to provide comments to the lead agency on the RI/FS, ROD, ARAR/TBC determinations, and remedial design. The support agency shall have a minimum of five working days and a maximum of 10 working days to comment on the proposed plan.
(i) Administrative record requirements. The state, where it is the lead agency for a Fund-financed site, shall compile and maintain the administrative record for selection of a response action under subpart I of this part unless specified otherwise in the SMOA.