The Remedy Selection phase identifies a preferred response action based on the comparative analysis of remedial alternatives developed in the Feasibility Study (FS). Remedy Selection includes the development of a Proposed Plan (PP) for review and comment by the public and other stakeholders. This is followed by the development of a Record of Decision (ROD)/Decision Document (DD), which details the rationale for the selected remedial action.
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Remedy Selection builds on the comparison of remedial strategies and recommendations developed in the FS. During this step, the preferred alternative is identified and described in a PP. After review and comment by the public and other stakeholders, the selected alternative is documented in a ROD or DD.
The PP identifies the preferred alternative for the site and briefly describes other remedial alternatives that were analyzed. The rationale for selection of the preferred alternative is summarized in accordance with the nine criteria described in the National Contingency Plan (NCP) . The Department of the Navy (DON) makes the PP available for public comment and hosts a public meeting to discuss the plan. After the comment period is completed, DON prepares a Responsiveness Summary, which documents significant comments and responses, along with any new relevant information submitted by stakeholders.
Record of Decision/Decision Document
The preferred alternative presented in the PP is then formalized in a written ROD/DD. The ROD/DD should identify the applicable legal authority for the response, describe the hazards and unacceptable risks necessitating the response, and summarize the evaluation criteria used during remedy selection. For petroleum or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) sites where the NCP does not apply, applicable requirements for DDs should be followed. All RODs/DDs must undergo the enhanced internal NAVFAC review process called Quality Document Review (QDR) before final approval. The ROD/DD must be signed before a remedial action is initiated. The ROD is a legally-binding agreement between DON and regulatory agencies and therefore changing the ROD can be a complicated process. For this reason, the ROD should be carefully developed to allow for flexibility in addressing evolving site conditions and accommodating technology transitions over time. Additional information on building flexible RODs is provided in the DON Guidance for Optimizing Remedy Evaluation, Selection, and Design. When RAOs cannot likely be achieved within a reasonable timeframe, the RODs can incorporate flexibility through the use of interim performance objectives.
The PP and ROD/DD contents are outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) A Guide to Preparing Superfund Proposed Plans, Records of Decision, and Other Remedy Selection Decision Documents (OSWER 9200 1-23P). The ROD Toolkit is a supplemental resource to EPA ROD Guidance to support the development of effective and streamlined documents. A QDR is required for the PP and ROD documents prior to submittal to regulatory agencies.
For more information, Chapter 9 of the DON Environmental Restoration Program Manual details PP and ROD/DD considerations.