Federal Programs

Various federal programs apply to sites being addressed by the DNREC Remediation Section.

National Priorities List (NPL)

National Priorities List (NPL) sites are sites that pose a long term remedial response action that are carried out by EPA with DNREC involvement and assistance. EPA is the lead regulatory agency on NPL sites.

The remedial response action should “permanently and significantly reduce the dangers associated with the releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are not immediately life threatening.”

National Priorities List sites are governed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The authorization of CERCLA helped to revise the National Contingency Plan (NCP). The NCP provides the federal agencies guidance on how to respond to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants. Based on the NCP, the NPL was created.

More information about the National Priorities List can be found at the EPA’s National Priorities List and CERCLA web sites.

Preliminary Assessment / Site Inspection

Preliminary Assessment (PA) and Site Inspection (SI) are programs under the EPA Superfund program that examine all locations reported to DNREC as potential hazardous substance release sites.

A Preliminary Assessment is conducted to determine whether a site should be considered for further study because it poses a risk to human health and the environment. The process usually consists of reviewing historical and current data, such as aerial photographs, previous investigations, deed searches, and interviewing present and past owners. A Preliminary Assessment is conducted according to guidance issued by the U.S. EPA and the Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection State Cooperative Agreement Guidance.

If the Preliminary Assessment reveals that a risk exists but does not pose an immediate threat, a more extensive study called a Site Inspection will be performed. A Site Inspection builds upon the information gathered during the Preliminary Assessment, and also includes sampling of soil, groundwater, etc. This is necessary to better define the extent of the risk at a site and provide sufficient data to determine the next action (i.e., additional investigations, emergency response, enforcement, and/or remedial response).

More information regarding PA and SI can be found online via the EPA.

Toxic Substances Control Act

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the nation’s primary chemicals management law, was updated in 2016.

Department of Defense State Memorandum of Agreement Sites

Department of Defense State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA) sites are federal facilities that typically go through a National Priority List (NPL) process. While the process does not differ substantially from a traditional investigation and remediation process, the source of the funding differs.

Active Department of Defense Sites

Active Department of Defense (DOD) sites are sites that belong to the Department of Defense and are still being used for their originally intended purpose. Delaware Air National Guard is an active DOD site in New Castle, and Dover Air Force Base is an active DOD site in Dover.

Formerly Used Defense Sites

Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) are properties that were originally under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense, and owned by, leased by, or otherwise possessed by the United States.

Currently, the U.S. Army is delegated to meet all applicable environmental restoration requirements at FUDS, regardless of which DOD component previously owned or used the property. The Secretary of the Army delegated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to provide the program management and execution responsibility for FUDS. Within the State of Delaware, there have been approximately 38 designated FUDS properties.

More information regarding FUDS can be found online via the Corps of Engineers.