Remedial Action

Remedial Action in the United States

Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) in Environmental Law

In a cleanup of a hazardous waste site that has been listed as a priority for federal action, specific steps must be taken to determine the methods to be used. The National Contingency Plan describes them, along with the roles various people are to play. The remedial design/remedial action phase of the work occurs at the end of the lengthy procedure; it is the actual engineering, construction, and implementation of the cleanup.

Before the RD/RA is begun, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a record of decision, which selects the remedy for either the whole site or for a discrete part of the cleanup. The decision is by no means a surprise; it follows a lengthy study of the site and the wastes that are there as well as detailed analysis of possible remedial methods. That work is done during the remedial investigation/feasibility study. All of the information compiled is available to the public, the potentially responsible parties, and the state in which the site is located. A proposal of the remedy is published and comments considered before the record of decision becomes final.

The selected remedy must be engineered and constructed before the cleanup can begin, so the RD/RA process sets the cleanup in motion. A work plan is developed with dates for completion of all of the work. Equipment is designed and engineering controls such as trenches and drains are created, along with systems for treatment. A health and safety plan is developed for workers who will be on the site. Then the construction is completed, and the remedial action is started. The RD/RA stage of a cleanup generally lasts about two years.

Work will continue at the site until the cleanup goals have been met. Construction activities, such as digging trenches, building treatment facilities or systems, excavating soil and drums, putting in liners and covers, and placing barriers to migration will be completed early. Some types of cleanup activities bioremediation, pumping and treating groundwater, intercepting surface waters for treatment, removing seepage from collection devices will continue over many years. During that time, the remediation systems must be maintained and operated. See also Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; National Contingency Plan; National Priority List; remediation; Superfund; Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Remedial Action: 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 Remedial Action. This part provides references, in relation to Remedial Action, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Remedial Action 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 Remedial Action 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 Remedial Action 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 Remedial Action 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 Remedial Action. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Remedial Action 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 Remedial Action when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

Leave a Comment