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Record of Decision (ROD)

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), along with the Departments of Health (DOH) and Law (DOL), is responsible for ensuring the cleanup of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites across the state. Under New York State's Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Remedial Program, the process begins with the discovery of a potential hazardous waste site and follows a path of thorough investigation, remedy selection, design, construction and monitoring. This fact sheet highlights one stage in the comprehensive process, the Record of Decision (ROD).

Record of Decision

The ROD contains results of the remedial investigation and remedy selection process.

The Record of Decision (ROD) presents the remedial action plan for an inactive hazardous waste disposal site and documents the information and rationale used to arrive at the decision.

The ROD is the culmination of extensive investigations and a remedy selection that identifies a solution to remove significant threats to the public health and the environment. (For more on this, see the fact sheet entitled Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study.) It serves as the definitive record of the remedy selection process for the site and a convenient reference to other documents that were developed during the remedy selection process.

DEC gives the final approval to the ROD.

The final ROD is approved by the Department following public comment and review of the proposed remedial action plan. The project then moves on to remedial design and construction.

ROD Contents

The ROD summarizes information used to select the remedial action.

Each ROD produced for an inactive hazardous waste disposal site contains information about the site, which identifies the problem and describes the remedial solution. In addition, the decision-making process that yielded the remedial action plan is documented to demonstrate that the appropriate solution was selected. The ROD contains:

  • Site location, description and history: provides valuable insight into the previous use of the site and identifies vulnerable areas in the surrounding environment such as residential areas and protected wetlands, groundwater, etc.
  • Problem identification: describes the nature and extent of contamination and the pathways through which contaminants move in the environment.
  • Status of enforcement actions: provides the enforcement history and current status for the site.
  • Goals for remedial action: describes the overall goal of remediation, protection of public health and the environment, and remedial goals specific to each site - for example, preventing contaminated groundwater migration.
  • Discussion of remedial alternatives: presents each potential remedial action, including a "no action" alternative, to show that technical, legal, environmental and public concerns are met.
  • The selected remedial action: describes the planned remedy.
  • Responsiveness Summary: documents public comments about the selected remedy. Modifications to the remedial action plan based on public comment are identified in the summary.
  • Administrative Record: references reports and other documents developed during investigation and remedy selection.

Amendments to the ROD

Amended remedial decisions require additional review and public input.

Changes to the final remedial action plan may occur in two cases:

  1. if the ROD specifically provides for later addition of documents and reserves a portion of the decision to a later time
  2. if new and significant information is received or generated after the ROD is finalized.

An amended ROD must go through additional review and public comment periods.

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