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EPA Region 3 and DuPont Team-up for Corrective Action Success

Over the past two years, U.S. EPA Region 3 and the DuPont Company have collaborated to develop and implement a streamlined regional RCRA Corrective Action Program. This program capitalizes on the synergy between EPA's goals under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and DuPont's corporate environmental goals. The product has been a focused, results-oriented program built on trust, teamwork and cooperation.

In 1998, the GPRA Environmental Indicators for RCRA Corrective Action (GA 725 and CA 750) emerged as the near term goal for EPA's Corrective Action activities. There are ten DuPont "GPRA Baseline" sites in Region 3, at various stages of completion in the RCRA Corrective Action process. Most of DuPont's sites are operating facilities with multiple SWMUs that present a range of potential risks to human health and the environment.

DuPont's objective is to manage the remediation at all of these sites in a coordinated approach that ensures human health and environmental protection, while otimizing use of resources. Similarly, U.S. EPA Region 3 has a goal of achieving site stabilization and meeting the GPRA EIs by 2005. In order to meet both of these objectives, DuPont's sites are being collectively managed in a coordinated manner that prioritizes activities to address high priority SWMU's first. This type of portfolio management approach enables the goals of both parties to be realized.

The EPA Region 3 Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) and DuPont project leaders kicked-off their teaming relationship by scheduling regular group face-to-face meetings to discuss project status, and to develop mutually agreeable implementation schedules. All ten projects were discussed collectively. This allowed both parties to understand the potential issues that existed, such as project budget and personnel constraints, and to then resolve these issues before they became barriers to progress.

The EPA Dupont team also looked for ways to build efficiency into the program. For example, major efforts were applied to develop a comprehensive analytical data Quality Assurance Program (QAP) that could be applied to all projects, thereby eliminating the need to develop a QAP individually for each project. Also, a consistent reporting template was developed that met EPA's information needs.

Over a short period of time, this teamwork has generated tangible "results and progress, versus being "mired in process." Region 3 and DuPont have replaced the time consuming exchange of written communications with increased face-to-face meetings and documented verbal agreements. This allowed many projects to move forward, when in the past, they would have stalled while awaiting response to written communications. For a Dupont site in Virginia as an example, this approach enabled rapid progress on two high priority units, including interim remedial action.

As this process continues to move forward, both parties are seeing their mutual goals realized rapid action at sites with the potential to impact human health and the environment. U.S. EPA Region 3 and DuPont are looking forward to continued success in the future as a number of the sites enter into full RFI/CMS type activities.

If you would like to find out more about this successful partnership, contact Bob Greaves (215-814-3423) or visit U.S. EPA Region 3's web site.

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