[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 214 (Wednesday, November 5, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65589-65592]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-26160]



40 CFR Part 300

[EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0733; FRL-9918-52-OSWER]

National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; 
Technical Amendment To Update Data Management System Nomenclature

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.


[[Page 65590]]

SUMMARY: Effective January 31, 2014 the EPA Superfund program 
decommissioned the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation 
and Liability Act Information System (CERCLIS) and adopted a new, more 
comprehensive data management system. The new data management system, 
the Superfund Enterprise Management System (SEMS), serves as a more 
powerful, integrated platform. Consistent with this action, this direct 
final rule makes appropriate conforming terminological changes to our 
regulations. This direct final rule also adds a minor clarification to 
the description of the remedial preliminary assessment.

DATES: This rule is effective on January 5, 2015 without further 
notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by December 5, 2014. If EPA 
receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the 
Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take 

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
SFUND-2014-0733, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]
     U.S. Postal Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Superfund Docket, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 
3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Attention 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0733. Such deliveries are only accepted 
during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements 
should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-
2014-0733. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Superfund Docket (Docket 
ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0733). This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
Superfund Docket telephone number is (202) 566-0276. EPA Docket Center 
(EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Hovis at (703) 603-8888 
([email protected]), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460-0002, Mail Code 5202P.


I. Why is EPA using a direct final rule?

    EPA is publishing this rule without a prior proposed rule because 
we view this as a noncontroversial action related to internal agency 
operations and anticipate no adverse comment as this action merely 
makes nonsubstantive changes to reflect new data management system 
nomenclature and adds minor clarifying text to a description in the NCP 
that will make the regulations more accurate.
    In the ``Proposed Rules'' section of today's Federal Register, we 
are also publishing a separate proposed rule reflecting the changes 
described above. If adverse comments are received on this direct final 
rule, EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. 
Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For 
further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES 
section of this document. If EPA receives significant adverse comment, 
we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing 
the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We would 
address all significant public comments in any subsequent final rule 
based on the proposed rule.

II. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    A. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI). Do not 
submit this information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. 
Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be 
CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark 
the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify 
electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that 
is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment 
that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that 
does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for 
inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with the procedures set forth in 40 CFR 
part 2.
    B. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
     Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other 
identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and 
page number).
     Follow directions--The agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible.

[[Page 65591]]

     Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.
     Comments are only being solicited on the NCP revisions 
updating the data system nomenclature changes from CERCLIS to SEMS and 
the addition of clarifying text to the remedial preliminary assessment 
description. Therefore, comments are not being requested on other 
unmodified sections of the NCP nor on EPA's internal operational 
decision to update Superfund's data management system, and such 
comments will not be considered if submitted.

III. Background

A. What is CERCLA?

    In 1980, Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601-9675 (``CERCLA'' or 
``the Act''), in response to releases or substantial threats of 
releases of hazardous substances into the environment or releases or 
substantial threats of releases into the environment of any pollutant 
or contaminant which may present an imminent and substantial danger to 
the public health or welfare.

B. What is the National Contingency Plan?

    To implement CERCLA, EPA promulgated the revised National Oil and 
Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR part 300, 
on July 16, 1982 (47 FR 31180), pursuant to CERCLA section 105 and 
Executive Order 12316 (46 FR 42237, August 20, 1981). The NCP sets 
guidelines and procedures for responding to releases or substantial 
threats of releases of hazardous substances into the environment and 
releases or substantial threats of releases into the environment of any 
pollutant or contaminant that may present an imminent or substantial 
danger to the public health or welfare. EPA has revised the NCP on 
several occasions. The most recent comprehensive revision was on March 
8, 1990 (55 FR 8666).

C. How does Superfund track and manage its data?

    The Superfund program maintains a comprehensive data management 
system that inventories and tracks releases of hazardous substances 
addressed or needing to be addressed. The Superfund data management 
system, SEMS, contains the official inventory of CERCLA sites and 
supports EPA's site planning, tracking and national program performance 
reporting functions. It includes site assessment, remedial, Federal 
facility and enforcement program data. Inclusion of a specific site or 
area in SEMS does not represent a determination of any party's 
liability, nor does it represent a finding that any response action is 

D. Why did EPA change its Superfund data management system?

    The new Superfund data management system, SEMS, integrates multiple 
legacy Superfund data collection, reporting and tracking systems, 
including CERCLIS, into a single system for one primary source of 
Superfund site activity data, records, and accomplishment 
documentation. The new Superfund data management system also 
consolidates the Superfund program's disparate technical assets into a 
national management system with a single architecture on an agency 
platform. The new system is adaptable to shifting programmatic 
priorities and changing operational needs, and can better address the 
growing demands of content management and data exchange.

E. What does this amendment do?

    This direct final rule revises the Operational Abbreviations 
section (40 CFR 300.4(b)) and the Definitions section (40 CFR 300.5) of 
the NCP to reflect terminological changes necessary for consistency 
with EPA's transition from CERCLIS as the Superfund program's planning 
and tracking data management system to SEMS. This rule also amends the 
Remedial preliminary assessment description (40 CFR 420(b)) to clarify 
that the Preliminary Assessment (PA) is performed on only those sites 
that have been entered into the SEMS remedial assessment active 

F. What is the basis for this amendment?

    CERCLA's passage in 1980 launched the Superfund program that 
provided EPA the authority needed to respond to threats posed by the 
uncontrolled releases of hazardous substances into the environment. The 
fundamental purpose of the Superfund program is to address threats and 
protect human health and the environment from releases or potential 
releases of hazardous substances from abandoned or uncontrolled 
hazardous waste sites. To effectively implement the Superfund program, 
it is necessary to maintain a repository of planning and accomplishment 
data, including resource planning estimates and program targets and 
measures. The updated Superfund information system also meets the 
requirements of U.S. Code Title 44, Sec.  3506 (a)(1)(A) which direct 
Federal agencies to be responsible for ``carrying out the agency's 
information resources management activities to improve agency 
productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness . . .''.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 
Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), this action is 
not a ``significant regulatory action'' and is therefore not subject to 
OMB review. This action merely deletes an obsolete reference to a 
retired information system and adds minor clarifying text to a 
description in the NCP. This action does not impose any requirements on 
any entity, including small entities. Therefore, pursuant to the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), after considering 
the economic impacts of this action on small entities, I certify that 
this action will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. This action does not contain any 
unfunded mandates or significantly or uniquely affect small governments 
as described in Sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act of 1999 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4). This action does not create new 
binding legal requirements that substantially and directly affect 
Tribes under Executive Order 13175 (63 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). 
This action does not have significant Federalism implications under 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Because this 
action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this 
final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 
13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks 
and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not 
contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it 
require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, 
entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). 
This action does not involve technical standards; thus, the 
requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and 
Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272) do not apply. The Congressional 
Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.,

[[Page 65592]]

generally provides that before certain actions may take effect, the 
agency promulgating the action must submit a report, which includes a 
copy of the action, to each House of the Congress and to the 
Comptroller General of the United States. Because this action does not 
contain legally binding requirements, it is not subject to the 
Congressional Review Act.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, 
Natural resources, Oil pollution, Penalties, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water pollution control, Water 

    Dated: October 28, 2014.
Mathy Stanislaus,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

    For the reasons set out in this document, 40 CFR part 300 is 
amended as follows:


1. The authority citation for Part 300 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 
12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 
2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193.

Sec.  300.4  [Amended]

2. Amend Sec.  300.4, paragraph (b), by adding in alphabetical order 
the term ``SEMS--Superfund Enterprise Management System''.

3. Amend Sec.  300.5 by revising the definition ``CERCLIS'' and adding 
in alphabetical order the definition ``SEMS'' to read as follows:

Sec.  300.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    CERCLIS was the abbreviation for the CERCLA Information System. 
This system has been retired and has been replaced with SEMS, the 
Superfund Enterprise Management System.
* * * * *
    SEMS is the abbreviation for the Superfund Enterprise Management 
System. SEMS is EPA's comprehensive data management system that 
inventories and tracks information about releases addressed or needing 
to be addressed by the CERCLA Superfund program. SEMS consolidates 
legacy systems including CERCLIS into a single integrated platform. 
SEMS contains information for potential and confirmed hazardous waste 
sites addressed under the Superfund remedial and removal programs. SEMS 
includes sites in the active site inventory and archived sites. The 
active site inventory includes sites on the NPL, and sites not on the 
NPL where site assessment, removal, remedial, enforcement, cost 
recovery, or oversight activities are being planned or conducted. 
Archived sites include non-NPL sites that were formerly in the active 
site inventory which have no further site assessment, removal, 
remedial, enforcement, cost recovery or oversight needed under the 
Federal Superfund program based on available information. New 
information may warrant return of an archive site to the active 
inventory. Inclusion of a specific site or area in SEMS does not 
represent a determination of any party's liability, nor does it 
represent a finding that any response action is necessary.''
* * * * *

4. Amend Sec.  300.420 by revising paragraph (b)(1) introductory text 
to read as follows:

Sec.  300.420  Remedial site evaluation.

* * * * *
    (b) Remedial preliminary assessment. (1) The lead agency shall 
perform a remedial PA on all sites entered into the SEMS remedial 
assessment active inventory as defined in Sec.  300.5 to:
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-26160 Filed 11-4-14; 8:45 am]