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One Cleanup Program Masthead ImageOne Cleanup Program

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is leading this initiative in response to issues raised by the regulated community, citizens impacted by contaminated properties, and other governmental agencies. Its goal is to improve the coordination, speed, and effectiveness of cleanups at the nation's contaminated sites. The One Cleanup Program is EPA’s vision for how different cleanup programs at all levels of government can work together to meet that goal — and ensure that resources, activities, and results are effectively coordinated and communicated to the public.

The One Cleanup Program will not require new legislation or program restructuring. Instead, it is a long term initiative designed to support the ongoing planning and quality improvement efforts of EPA cleanup programs. It does this by encouraging improved coordination among EPA programs and with state, tribal, local and other federal agency programs and stakeholders.

The One Cleanup Program establishes activities that will lead to:

This initiative involves EPA cleanup programs dealing with brownfields, federal facilities, leaking underground storage tanks, RCRA and Superfund. The results of the One Cleanup Program will be evaluated on a regular basis and considered in annual planning processes.

"All of our different cleanup programs have to work together better, using the best thinking, the best technologies, the best information, the best measures of success. That’s what the One Cleanup Program is all about."
Marianne Horinko, Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) and Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) will lead the initiative. EPA worked closely with the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) and other state and tribal representatives to develop the initiative. State and tribal cleanup programs are encouraged to voluntarily participate in the program objectives within their existing standards and resources. The success of the One Cleanup Program is very dependent on partnerships and effective communication - with the public and among waste site cleanup programs.

EPA’s Vision for the One Cleanup Program

The nation’s cleanup programs will work in harmony to achieve effective and efficient cleanups that protect human health and the environment, and support revitalization of communities. Cleanup programs will coordinate to promote sound and protective remedies, shared science and technical approaches, seamless public information systems, and the mutual acceptance of policies and results.

The One Cleanup Program will lead to three major improvements:

  1. More consistent and effective cleanups
  2. The regulated community has expressed concern that inconsistent and duplicative approaches taken by different regulatory agencies create inefficiency and confusion. Increased effectiveness of cleanups and more efficient use of resources can be achieved by sharing lessons learned, recognizing successful alternative approaches, and developing more consistent policies and guidance. Cleanup programs should work together to make greater use of all available authorities, and select the optimum programmatic tools to increase the pace, efficiency, and quality of cleanups.

  3. Clear and more useful information about cleanups
  4. Citizens impacted by contaminated properties have stated that it is vitally important that EPA work with the nation’s cleanup programs to combine and integrate information systems in order to provide clear and useful information about the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated sites.

  5. Better performance measures
  6. The President and Congress have emphasized the need for performance measures that clearly show the performance of EPA’s environmental programs.

    EPA will work with all cleanup programs to develop meaningful measures that demonstrate the overall effectiveness and benefit of the nation’s combined cleanup efforts, so we can assess the results and appropriately request, prioritize, and apply our limited resources.

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Implementation - Action Plan

To improve in the three areas discussed above, EPA will work with the nation's waste cleanup programs to plan and to implement the following initiatives/activities. EPA will regularly evaluate the results of these activities and adust the One Cleanup Program as appropriate. EPA will also consider these results in its annual planning processes.

Initiative I: More Consistent and Effective Cleanups

Initiative II: Clear and Useful Information About Cleanups

Initiative III: Better Performance Measures


Many of the activities laid out here are underway. Details for others will be posted on this website as they become available.

In short, the One Cleanup Program applies cross-program, cross-agency thinking and planning to the universe of contaminated sites. It pools the best ideas, experiences and innovations from each program so that they can be applied to all programs. In this way, every cleanup project in every community can benefit.

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