40 CFR 307.23 - EPA's review of preauthorization applications.
(a) EPA shall review each preauthorization application and will notify the applicant of the decision to grant or deny preauthorization. Decisions to grant preauthorization will be memorialized in a PDD.
(b) Each application for preauthorization must include information sufficient for EPA to determine whether the response will be consistent with 40 CFR 300.700(d). EPA will evaluate applications based on the following non-exclusive list of criteria, as appropriate:
(1) Whether the release is within the scope of CERCLA;
(2) The seriousness of the problem or importance of the response activity when compared with competing demands on the Fund;
(3) Whether there is sufficient time to process the request for preauthorization (e.g., if a removal action is proposed);
(4) Whether the party liable for the release or threat of release of the hazardous substance is unknown, or if known, has been notified of the application for preauthorization and is unwilling or incapable of performing the response in a reasonable period of time;
(5) Whether the State, a political subdivision, or an Indian Tribe is willing to undertake the response action through a contract or a cooperative agreement;
(6) The cost and effectiveness of the proposed response actions when compared with other alternatives;
(7) Whether proposed response can be carried out in accordance with the NCP and other environmental requirements;
(8) The applicant's eligibility to file a claim; his capabilities, experience, and technical expertise; and his knowledge and familiarity with the NCP and relevant guidance;
(9) Whether the party is proposing to conduct a cleanup through an administrative order or a Consent Decree with the Government regarding the site for which the request is made (if the applicant is a potentially responsible party);
(10) Whether the applicant, if he is a potentially responsible party seeking to undertake a remedial investigation and feasibility study, has affirmed that he will not directly or indirectly benefit from the preauthorization as a response action contractor, or as a person hired or retained by such a contract with respect to the site at issue, and agrees to reimburse the Fund for any cost incurred under, or in connection with, the oversight contract or arrangement for the remedial investigation and feasibility study;
(11) Whether the proposed costs are eligible and the applicant has proposed appropriate procurement, contract management, project management, financial management and documentation procedures;
(12) Whether the applicant has met the necessary assurances, financial responsibilities, and other requirements;
(13) Provisions for long-term operation and maintenance of the site, if appropriate;
(14) Whether the applicant has consulted with the State or Indian Tribe on the proposed response action;
(15) The applicant's proposed procedures for oversight and the reporting of project issues and progress;
(16) Cooperation of the applicant at any earlier stage of response activity; and
(17) Whether the proposed schedule for filing a claim(s) is based upon the completion of the project, an operable unit, or a discrete phase of the response work.
(c) The Administrator may grant preauthorization for all or part of a proposed response action, but not less than a stage of an operable unit or of a response action.
(1) The Administrator may set a limit on the amount that may be claimed as reimbursement from the Fund for any response action.
(2) The Administrator may condition the preauthorization on such inspection, monitoring, reporting, safety, and long-term operation and maintenance requirements as he deems necessary. The costs of such requirements may not necessarily be reimbursed from the Fund.
(3) The Administrator may condition the preauthorization on such time period for starting and completing the response action as he may deem necessary.
(4) The Administrator may condition the preauthorization on such financial or other assurance from the claimant or other entity as he may deem necessary to ensure completion of work at the site.
(5) The Administrator will not subject potentially responsible parties who may wish to undertake a remedial investigation and feasibility study to a lesser standard of liability nor will he give such parties preferential treatment in EPA's review of applications for preauthorization.
(d) If EPA denies a preauthorization because of an insufficient balance in the Fund or the low priority assigned to the response action when weighed against other applications or uses of the Fund, the applicant may resubmit the application in another fiscal year. If preauthorization is denied because of the inability of the applicant to demonstrate his experience and capabilities, the applicant may resubmit the application form only after correcting the deficiencies, or by proposing an alternative approach.
(e) If EPA grants preauthorization, the applicant may begin the approved response action subject to the terms and conditions contained in the PDD. The applicant, as a condition of preauthorization, shall assure that the lead agency shall have such site access as may be necessary for oversight and monitoring.
(f) If the applicant is unable to initiate or complete the preauthorized response action, the applicant shall immediately notify EPA in writing.
(g) EPA will not grant preauthorization for any response actions where:
(1) The proposed action is not a response action authorized under CERCLA;
(2) There is a significant threat to the public health or the environment caused by acute threat of fire, explosion, direct human contact with a hazardous substance, or other similar hazardous situations requiring immediate action, and there is insufficient time to process an application for preauthorization;
(3) The proposed response is a remedial action and the site is not on the NPL; or
(4) The action is to be performed by a State, political subdivision, Indian Tribe through an assistance agreement with the United States, or a person operating pursuant to a contract with the United States.
(h) EPA will deny preauthorization to a person whom the Agency believes is a liable party under section 107 of CERCLA unless negotiations are underway aimed at reaching a judicial or administrative settlement. Such parties may be preauthorized under this paragraph to submit claims to the Fund for response costs up to the maximum amount specified in the PDD.