National Contingency Plan in the United States
National Contingency Plan (NCP) in Environmental Law
The regulations created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act to deal with the cleanup of releases of hazardous substances and oil to water. When the Superfund law (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) was
enacted in 1980, hazardous substance releases to air and land were added to the plan.
The National Contingency Plan is a comprehensive set of regulations that covers emergency planning, establishes response teams, and provides for obtaining and maintaining response equipment. However, it goes beyond emergency response; it is the blueprint for long-term cleanup of hazardous waste sites.
Superfund spelled out the types of issues the EPA had to deal with in the National Contingency Plan: methods of responding to releases, gathering information, and evaluating risks. The EPA was also required to devise a way to learn about releases and potential for future releases. Whenever a Superfund site is recognized as such, all parties involved in the cleanup, including the potentially responsible parties, federal and state governments, and persons who voluntarily undertake the work, are required to follow the National Contingency Plan. Failure to follow the NCP results in loss of the opportunity to get other responsible parties to pay their share of expenses. See also contribution rights; remedial design/remedial action; remedial investigation/feasibility study.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.