Record Of Decision

Record of Decision in the United States

Record of Decision (ROD) in Environmental Law

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) formal record of the selection of a remedy for a hazardous waste site on the National Priority List of sites targeted for federal cleanup. The ROD discusses why the site was listed, what types of pollutants are involved, the various methods that could be used to address the pollution, and the agency’s selection of a remedy It must also include the reasons the remedy was chosen and discuss why the EPA considers the remedy sufficient, cost-effective, and permanent. Responses to public comments are also included.

Preparation of a record of decision is required by the Superfund law, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and by the regulations, the National Contingency Plan.

During the course of a cleanup of one site, more than one ROD may be completed; each will deal with at least one aspect of the cleanup. For example, if at a particular site barrels of hazardous waste are stacked in a building, drums of hazardous waste are buried, and the groundwater is contaminated, the EPA may either deal with all three problems in one document or may address them separately in successive records of decision. At a complicated site, breaking the remedial action into smaller units (called operable units) may speed up the work and make it easier to allocate responsibility for portions of the cleanup.

The ROD is completed after the remedial investigation/feasibility study is finished. The selected remedy and draft document must be publicly available for examination and comment. When the final version is issued, the next step is engineering and design, followed by implementation of the remedy. After the design phase begins, the EPA may make changes to the remedy based on engineering or scientific reality. In that case, it must prepare an amendment to the ROD or prepare an explanation in a separate document detailing the proposed changes and the reasons for them. If the changes are significant, public notice and an opportunity to comment are required. See also applicable or relevant and appropriate regulations; notice and comment; remedial design/remedial action; Superfund; Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Record Of Decision: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Record Of Decision. This part provides references, in relation to Record Of Decision, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Record Of Decision by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Record Of Decision and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Record Of Decision or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Record Of Decision and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Record Of Decision. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Record Of Decision should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Record Of Decision when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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