A decision model for remedy selection under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act



The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) sets forth a process for cleaning up lands polluted before environmental laws and regulations were enacted to protect these valuable resources. Standard processes have been developed for the majority of the response actions taken at CERCLA sites. However, no standardized process has been developed for remedy selection, which presents a significant gap in the definition of the overall process. CERCLA disputes are typically focused on the inadequacy of the selected remedy. This article provides a quantitative decision model to support a consistent, defensible process for remedy selection. This decision support model brings remedy selection to a new level of robustness. It improves upon the current ad hoc methodology employed for decision making for cleanup at CERCLA sites and will allow the user to provide justification and validation of the selected remedy should that remedy be challenged. The model will also provide enough flexibility to allow site-specific application. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.