Hazardous Waste Program

Expedited Corrective Action Program (ECAP)

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What is the Expedited Corrective Action Program?
What is the Program Structure?
How Long is the Process?
How Do Facilities Become Participants in the Program?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires owners and operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities to investigate and clean up chemical releases to the environment caused by present and past hazardous waste and chemical handling practices. These activities, known as corrective action, reduce risks to human health and the environment. Corrective action can take place under a RCRA permit, a Corrective Action Order, or other regulatory agreement.

Picture of backhoe removing contaminated soil at Cook Composites and Polymers in North Kansas City, Missouri.
Demolition during the Expedited Corrective
Action Program at Cook Composites and
Polymers in north Kansas City, Missouri.

According to Missouri law, RCRA treatment, storage and disposal facilities are not allowed to perform corrective action under Missouri’s Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program. Corrective Action Orders have been the only regulatory tool available to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for corrective action at RCRA TSD facilities that are not required to get a RCRA permit

What is the Expedited Corrective Action Program?
The Expedited Corrective Action Program is a voluntary program that offers RCRA TSD facilities that want to be proactive with their corrective action obligations an alternative to Corrective Action Orders.

The department , with assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7, finalized the framework for the ECAP in October 2000. The ECAP gives DNR oversight and approval authority and outlines public participation activities, while still allowing a large amount of flexibility in carrying out facility-specific corrective action.

What is the Program Structure?
The ECAP framework consists of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a model Letter of Agreement (LOA). The MOU describes the roles, responsibilities and expectations of the department and EPA with respect to carrying out the ECAP.

The model LOA is the starting point for detailing both general and facility-specific requirements of the investigation and cleanup process. It does not include any specific penalty provisions. However, any disputes occurring under the LOA are expected to be settled informally. The LOA is a “handshake” agreement that can be ended at any time by the facility or the department.

How Long is the Process?
Negotiating and writing a site-specific LOA normally takes a few weeks to months. Traditional Corrective Action Orders usually take at least a year to complete. Two facilities that tested the ECAP completed their cleanup activities in 18 and 21 months. Similar projects have taken several years to complete under traditional Corrective Action Orders.

Given the voluntary nature of the ECAP, mutual trust, cooperation and communication between the department and the facility are crucial during the process. Ultimately, the length of the process will depend on the nature and scope of corrective action required at the facility. The facility is able to set it's own schedule and complete activities as the facility's funding allows. The overall timeline to complete corrective action should be substantially less than that under a traditional RCRA permit or Corrective Action Order.

How Do Facilities Become Participants in the Program?
The department is looking for more participants. If your facility would like to take part in this program, or needs additional information, contact Richard Nussbaum with the department's Hazardous Waste Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3553 or by email.