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Release Date: 02/11/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FEB. 11, 2000

The Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Technology Council today reached a settlement agreement on the pending litigation over the Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU) regulation for remediation waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The settlement is being filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Under the settlement, if EPA promulgates amendments to the CAMU rule described in the settlement and certain other conditions are met, the CAMU lawsuit will be dropped.
Timothy Fields Jr., EPA Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, said, “Today’s landmark settlement on CAMU is critical to sustain the success of the RCRA cleanup reform agenda. The settlement significantly reduces the cloud of legal uncertainty over the CAMU rule that has discouraged hazardous waste cleanups. By doing so this settlement will allow cleanups already underway to proceed, and it will encourage the cleanup of thousands of other hazardous waste sites across the nation.”

The Agency has been in discussions for the better part of a year in an effort to settle litigation over the CAMU rule. In conjunction with the settlement process, EPA obtained feedback from many stakeholders from industry and the states to help inform today’s settlement. The settlement calls for EPA to propose amendments to the existing CAMU rule by August 7, 2000, and to publish a final rule by October 8, 2001. While not part of the settlement, EPA also intends to include in the proposed amendments provisions for expediting state authorization of these amendments and will take public comment on all of the proposed changes.

Today’s settlement calls for the Agency to amend the 1993 CAMU rule. That rule was written to address the potential disincentives to cleanup created by RCRA rules when applied to the management of RCRA hazardous remediation wastes during cleanup. Amendments to the 1993 rule specified in the settlement would establish CAMU-specific treatment and design standards. Among other things, the amendments would impose minimum treatment standards for principal hazardous constituents in CAMU wastes and minimum liner and cap standards for CAMUs. The settlement also includes a number of adjustment factors that allow for site-specific adjustments to treatment, striking a balance between minimum national standards and flexibility that is appropriate for the site-specific nature of cleanups.

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