Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket


Section 120(c) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires EPA to establish a Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket (Docket) which contains information reported to EPA by federal facilities that manage hazardous waste or from which hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants have been or may be released.

The Docket serves three major purposes:

  1. To identify all federal facilities that must be evaluated through the site assessment process to determine whether they pose a risk to human health and the environment sufficient to warrant inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL);
  2. To compile and maintain the information submitted to EPA on such facilities under the provisions listed in section 120(c) of CERCLA; and
  3. To provide a mechanism to make the information available to the public.

The Docket is developed from information submitted by the federal facility under the following authorities:

  • Section 103 of CERCLA requires owners or operators of vessels or facilities to notify the National Response Center of a release of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance (notification of a release or potential release);
  • Section 3005 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides EPA authority to establish a permitting system for hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities, which in turn requires the submission of certain information as part of the permit application (interim status/permitting authority). The hazardous waste permitting program is generally implemented by authorized states;
  • Section 3010 of RCRA requires hazardous waste generators, transporters, and TSD facility owners/operators to notify EPA of their hazardous waste activities (notification of hazardous waste activity) and;
  • Section 3016 of RCRA requires federal facilities to submit an inventory of hazardous waste sites they own or operate, or have owned and operated in the past (biennial inventory of hazardous waste activities).

In addition to these reporting authorities, EPA may become aware of a release or potential release of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant at a federal facility through previously submitted preliminary assessment (PA) reports, site inspection (SI) reports, Department of Defense (DoD) Installation Restoration Program (IRP) reports or reports under another federal agency environmental restoration program, but these facilities may not appear to have notified EPA under CERCLA section 103. The reports under various federal agency environmental restoration programs may contain information regarding releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants similar to that provided pursuant to section 103. EPA includes on the docket facilities which have provided information to EPA through documents such as a report under a Federal agency environmental restoration program, regardless of the absence of section 103 reporting.

EPA is required by statute to publish and update the Docket every six months. EPA published the initial list of Docket facilities in the Federal Register (F.R.), on February 12, 1988 (53 F.R. 4280).