Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center

Five Year Reviews

Steps of the Five-Year Review Process

OVERVIEW

A Five-Year Review (FYR) is required at an ER site if the remedial action will result in any hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, or MEC remaining at the site above levels that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure (UU/UE) or if the response action to reach UU/UE will not be completed within five years. “Unlimited use” and “unrestricted exposure” mean that there are no restrictions on the potential use of land or other natural resources.

 

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The purpose of the FYR is to evaluate the performance of the implemented remedy in order to verify that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment. Evaluation of the remedy and the determination of protectiveness should be based on and sufficiently supported by data and observations. The existing remedy can be modified if it is determined to be no longer protective of human health and the environment. FYRs are conducted in accordance with DON’s Navy and Marine Corps Policy for Conducting CERCLA Five-Year Reviews (June 2011)  and  U.S. EPA’s Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance (2001) web page.

The FYR process integrates information taken from decision documents and operational data with the experiences of those responsible for and affected by actions at the site. There are six components to the FYR process: 1) community involvement and notification, 2) document review, 3) data review and analysis, 4) site inspection, 5) interviews and 6) protectiveness determination. The reviewer uses these components to assess the remedy’s performance, and, ultimately, to determine the protectiveness of that remedy.

 

DON POLICY

DON Policy-Review Required/Not Required graphic

DON’s Navy and Marine Corps Policy for Conducting CERCLA FYRs (June 2011) clarifies when the FYR is required for remedial actions conducted under CERCLA authority, including joint CERCLA and RCRA actions, and describes the scope and format of these reviews. It also defines the "trigger date" that initiates the requirement for the FYR and identifies the signature authority for FYR reports.

img-fyr-warning

“Trigger” Date for FYR.  DON defines this as the date of the onsite mobilization for commencement of the remedial action construction (RA-C) phase. For remedies that do not require a RA-C phase (e.g., monitored natural attenuation using existing wells or a remedy only implementing institutional controls), the "trigger” is the record of decision (ROD) or decision document (DD) signature date. The FYR report shall be completed and signed by the DON within five years of the trigger date. The signature date of the FYR then becomes the “trigger” for the next FYR.

Review and Signature.  DON is the approval authority for CERCLA Five-Year Reviews conducted at sites under its jurisdiction, custody or control. FYRs should be submitted to the appropriate regulators for their review and comment; however, regulatory signature is not required. DON signature is required as follows:

  • Active installations – by the installation Commanding Officer/Commanding General, or the designated representative.
  • Non-BRAC closed bases - by the Commanding Officer of the supporting FEC, or their designated representative.
  • BRAC installations - by the BRAC Environmental Coordinator (BEC).

 

NAVFAC’s TOOLKIT FOR PREPARING FIVE-YEAR REVIEWS

The FYR should be a stand-alone document that communicates the remedy’s protectiveness in an appropriate level of detail. Sometimes, attempts to be all inclusive and thorough results in a report with an excessive amount of detailed information from previous documents. Therefore, NAVFAC’s Toolkit is a resource to help improve the transparency and clarity of FYRs by presenting the use of visual communication methods that can enhance the FYRs overall presentation and emphasize the data, analysis, and rationale used to ensure protection of human health and the environment. Although it is important to include the level of detail recommended by USEPA (2001), one should consider the use of streamlining and visualization tools for better data presentation.

 

Five Year Review Toolkit, NAVFAC (19 December 2013)
Five Year Review Toolkit, NAVFAC (19 December 2013)

 

 

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Process

The FYR process integrates information taken from decision documents and operational data with the experiences of those responsible for and affected by actions at the site. There are generally six components to the FYR process. The reviewer uses these components to assess the remedy’s performance, and, ultimately, to determine the protectiveness of that remedy.

Components of the FYR Process (Based on USEPA, 2003)
Components of the FYR Process (Based on USEPA, 2003)

 

Community Involvement.  At a minimum, community involvement activities should include notifying the community that the FYR will be conducted, notifying the community that the FYR has been completed, and providing a copy of the FYR report in the local site information repository.

Document Review.  All relevant documents and data are reviewed to obtain information to assess performance of the response action (e.g., Records of Decision, Explanation of Significant Differences, Consent Decrees, Administrative Orders on Consent, site investigations, remedial design and construction, and remedy performance).

Data Review and Analysis.  Review of sampling and monitoring plans and results from monitoring activities, operation and maintenance (O&M) reports or other documentation of remedy performance, including previous FYR reports is conducted. In some cases, it may be necessary to conduct supplemental sampling. The data evaluated here form the primary basis for the protectiveness determination.

Site Inspection.  A visit to the site is made to gather information about a site’s current status and to visually confirm and document the conditions of the remedy, the site, and the surrounding area. Inspection checklists are available in Appendix D of USEPA 2001.

Interviews.  Interviews should be conducted as necessary to provide additional information about the status of the site. Individuals who may be interviewed include: the site manager and other site personnel; Federal, State, and Tribal regulatory authorities; and people who live or work near the site.

Protectiveness Determination.  To assess the protectiveness of the remedy, one must evaluate human health risks, ecological risk, and the overall performance of the selected remedy. The assessment is conducted by answering three questions. The three questions one should ask and the issues to consider are shown in Table 1. These three questions comprise the Technical Assessment of the remedy.

Table 1.  Technical Assessment for Protectiveness Determination (USEPA, Protectiveness Determination)

To assess the protectiveness of the remedy, one must evaluate human health risks, ecological risk, and the overall performance of the selected remedy. The assessment is conducted by answering three questions. The three questions one should ask and the issues to consider are shown in Table 1. These three questions comprise the Technical Assessment of the remedy.

2001)

When you ask…

You should consider whether….

Question 1: Is the remedy functioning as intended by the decision documents?

·  performance standards (e.g., cleanup levels, plume containment, pumping rates) are or will likely be met;

·  there are problems with the remedy that could ultimately lead to the remedy not being protective or suggest protectiveness is at risk (e.g., shrubs or bushes growing on a landfill cap that was designed to have a grass vegetative cover, extent of plume not fully delineated);

·  access (e.g., fencing, security guards) and institutional controls needed at the particular stage of the remediation are in place and prevent exposure;

·  other actions (e.g., removals) necessary to ensure that there are no exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks have been implemented; and

·  maintenance activities (e.g., pumping and treating, monitoring slurry walls, mowing cap), as implemented, will maintain the effectiveness of response actions.

Question 2: Are the exposure assumptions, toxicity data, cleanup levels, and remedial action objectives used at the time of the remedy selection still valid?

·  there are changes in standards identified as Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements (ARARs) in the ROD, newly promulgated standards, and/or changes in TBCs identified in the ROD, that could call into question the protectiveness of the remedy;

·  there are changes in land use or the anticipated land use on or near the site;

·  new human health or ecological exposure pathways or receptors have been identified;

·  new contaminants or contaminant sources have been identified;

·  there are unanticipated toxic byproducts of the remedy not previously addressed by the decision documents;

·  there are changes in the physical site conditions; and

·  there are changes in the toxicity factors for contaminants of concern.

Question 3: Has any other information come to light that could call into question the protectiveness of the reedy?

·  ecological risks have been adequately addressed at the site, and/or there is a plan to address them through a future action; and

·  the site is/was subject to natural disasters, such as a 100-year flood.

 

PROTECTIVENESS CATEGORIES

The document Clarifying the Use of Protectiveness Determinations for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Five-Year Reviews, USEPA (2012) defines five protectiveness categories and provides general guidance for the use of these determinations and also provides language to be used when drafting the protectiveness statement, as shown in Table 2.

Table 2.  Protectiveness Determinations and Guidance for Use (USEPA, 2012)

Protectiveness Determination

Remedy

Description

Example Scenarios for the Determination

Recommended

Language

Protective

• Construction complete and remedy operating

• Construction complete, RAOs achieved, and O&M occurring

 

The remedy at OUX is protective of human health and the environment.

Short-term Protective

• Construction complete and remedy operating

• Construction complete, RAOs achieved, and O&M occurring

• No exposure occurring but ICs not fully implemented

• Future land use assumptions changed

• Engineering performance issues  with remedy

• Remedy will not achieve goals in time frame

The remedy currently protects human health and the environment because (describe why).  However, in order for the remedy to be protective in the long- term, the following actions need to be taken (describe) to ensure protectiveness.

Will be Protective

Construction activities on-going

 

The remedy is expected to be protective of human health and the environment upon completion.  In the interim, remedial activities completed to date have adequately addressed all exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks in these areas.

Protectiveness Deferred

• Construction activities on-going

• Construction activities complete and remedy is operating

• Construction activities complete, RAOs achieved, and O&M occurring

• New exposure pathway identified and data required to evaluate risk

• Emerging contaminant present and risk unknown

• Ecological risk not assessed

• Change in toxicity values

A protectiveness determination of the remedy cannot be made at this time until further information is obtained.  Further information will be obtained by taking the following actions (describe here).  It is expected that these actions will take about (insert time frame) to complete, at which time a protectiveness determination will be made.

Not Protective

• Construction activities on-going

• Construction activities complete and remedy operating

• Construction activities complete, RAOs achieved, and O&M occurring

• An immediate threat present

• Contaminant migration not controlled and present risk

• Potential or actual exposure is clearly present

The remedy is not protective because of the following issue(s) (describe issues).  The following actions need to be taken (describe actions) to ensure protectiveness.

 

 

DISCONTINUING FIVE-YEAR REVIEWS

FYRs continue throughout the life of the site until hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants no longer remain on site at levels that do not allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. The basis for this finding should be documented in the final FYR report.

 

 

 

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Resources

     Policy & Guidance            Publications            RITS             Related Sites    

 

 

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Guidance and Policy

Topics Title and Description
 

NAVFAC ER,N Program Directive for Quality Document review (QDR) of DON Installation Restoration Program (IRP) Sites (June 2018) 

 

Navy Policy

Five-Year Reviews

 

Navy and Marine Corps Policy for Conducting CERCLA Five-Year Reviews, CNO 5090 N453 Ser/11U158119 (7 June 2011)

This policy clarifies when Five-Year Reviews are necessary, describes the scope and format of the reviews, defines the trigger date, and identifies the signature authority. Final Five-Year Review reports for an installation must be completed and signed within five years of the established trigger dates including the time to undertake appropriate regulatory reviews.

DoD Defense Environmental REstoration Manual

Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) Management (March 9, 2012).  Number 4715.20.

This Department of Defense manual implements policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides guidance and procedures for managing DERP.

Five-Year Review

DoD Update

Five-Year Review Update (DUSD memo 2 June 2014) to the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP) Manual, DoDM 4715.20 (9 March 2012)

This memorandum from the Under Secretary of Defense updates the DoD Manual 4715.20 to cover Five-Year Review procedures in the Environmental Restoration Program.

Five-Year Reviews

EPA Fact Sheet

Five-Year Review Process in the Superfund Program Fact Sheet, U.S. EPA 540-F-02-004 (April 2003)

This EPA Fact Sheet summarized the EPA Guidance documents “Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance (EPA 540-R-01-007) issued in June 2001.

Five-Year Reviews

EPA Policy

Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance, U.S. EPA 540-R-01-007 (June 2001)

This guidance from EPA is intended to promote consistent implementation fo the five-year review process across the EPA regions. It provides an approach for conducting, clarifies current policy, and discusses roles and responsibilities.

Protectiveness Statements

EPA guidance

Clarifying the Use to Protectiveness Determinations for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Five-Year Reviews, U.S. EPA Memo OSWER 9200.2-111 (13 September 2012)

The purpose of this EPA memorandum is to clarify the use of protectiveness determinations in CERCLA Five-Year Reviews. It provides general guidance for the use of specific protectiveness determinations and recommends language to be used when drafting a protectiveness statement.

   

 

 

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Publications

Topics Title and Description
   

Groundwater

Five-Year Review

EPA Memorandum: Groundwater Forum Issue Paper, Groundwater Technical Considerations during the Five-Year Review Process (May 2015)

 

Groundwater

Five-Year Review

EPA Groundwater Forum Issue Paper: Groundwater Technical Considerations During the Five-Year Review Process (April 2015)

 

Five-Year Review

NAVFAC Toolkit

Toolkit for Preparing FYRs (NAVFAC, 2013)

A Five-Year Review Toolkit has been developed to provide a template for the preparation of high quality, user-friendly Five-Year Review documents, which focus on ensuring that remedial action objectives support the protectiveness statement.

   

 

 

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Related Sites

Topics Title and Description

Five-Year Review

EPA

Five-Year Review of Federal Facility Cleanups, USEPA Web Page

These webpages provide information on the US EPA’s approach to Five Year Reviews of Federal Facility cleanups. It includes training materials and videos, policy and guidance, and public outreach materials.

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