The purpose of this evaluation was to examine issues related to recovering Superfund expenditures from the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at a sample of Superfund national priority list (NPL) sites. We addressed the following questions:
1 What were the total Superfund expenditures at NPL sites where a viable business is the primary responsible party, and have those expenditures been recovered?
2 Are EPA regional offices effectively using the Superfund Cost Recovery Package Imaging and On-Line System (SCORPIOS) to bill site costs?
3 Were incorrectly allocated1 site costs corrected and billed to the appropriate site?
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund) authorizes the Federal Government, States, and private parties to recover Superfund cleanup expenses (costs) from responsible parties. When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts Superfund cleanup and oversight work, it takes actions to recover those costs from responsible parties.
As part of its Superfund cost recovery process, EPA uses an automated system known as the Superfund Cost Recovery Package Imaging and On-Line System (SCORPIOS) to calculate Superfund site costs. SCORPIOS is a repository of data from the EPA financial data warehouse and includes both indirect and direct Superfund costs. Direct Superfund costs are those that can be associated with activities at a specific site. Indirect Superfund costs reflect costs for general, administrative, and Superfund programmatic overhead costs not linked to specific sites.