The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, (SARA), provides for the identification, investigation and cleanup of Superfund, hazardous waste sites. Under these Acts, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to recover its response costs from responsible parties after participating in the investigation, cleanup, oversight, enforcement and other required administrative provisions.
State agencies which spend CERCLA funds must account for and document all response costs to permit recovery of these costs from responsible parties by EPA and the State. Funds may also be provided to the State by EPA under a grant system to undertake Superfund related response activities. State agencies which spend CERCLA grant funds must account for and document all State costs.
This manual outlines procedures involved with the expenditure of funds by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for CERCLA activities. It sets forth financial management and recordkeeping requirements for Superfund sites and for CERCLA related activities covered by EPA grants. Many of the principles and procedures covered by this manual serve as guidance for non-CERCLA sites, as well, which have the potential for future cost recovery actions. This manual will continue to be updated as new procedures are developed.
Documentation procedures involve complex financial management and recordkeeping policies that must be followed to assure cost recovery. These policies are based on regulations and guidance, in part, set forth in:
– Code of Federal Regulations, (CFR), Title 40, Part 31, Part 33 and Part 35, Subpart “O”.
– “State Superfund Financial Management and Recordkeeping Guidance”, 1987, EPA.
– OMB Circular No. A-87, ” Cost Principles for State and Local Governments”.
– Code of Maryland Regulations, (COMAR), Title 21.
Key features of the Superfund financial management and recordkeeping policies which are set forth in detail herein in Section D, include:
– Documentation of all expenses involved with response or grant-specified activities.
– Recovery of “reasonable and necessary” costs only.
– Identification of financial documents, and all other cost related records or agreements which may serve as the basis for determining or authorizing response costs, with the phrase – “SUPERFUND – DO NOT DESTROY”.
– Maintaining timesheets and other financial document originals without alteration after approvals.
– Maintenance of a unique file or set of files, either containing hard copies, or electronic images shall be maintained for each Superfund site which shall be identified by a project cost account (PCA) code to permit timely access to site records.
Record categories within these files shall be organized in a consistent manner.
– Maintenance of additional files, containing backup documentation which provide background and serve as a basis or authorization for costs, should also be maintained. These general files may contain information that is not necessarily site-specific.
– Retain original documents for each site, OU or activity.
– Electronic records may be acceptable for cost recovery if approved by EPA or Attorney General’s office.
– Submitting cost documentation, in response to requests from attorneys or EPA only after, expense related records are reconciled with the cost summary.
– Retention of records stamped with the phrase – “SUPERFUND – DO NOT DESTROY” for at least 10 years following submission of the final Financial Status Report, (FSR), unless otherwise directed by EPA.
Records are to be retained longer than 10 years if litigation, claim, cost recovery or other associated action takes place before the end of the 10-year period.
– EPA must approve destruction of documents that were required to be saved.
Establish Superfund and EPA grant financial management and recordkeeping procedures which:
– enable the State to meet legal responsibilities and EPA audit requirements;
– document expense related records in a legally acceptable manner;
– facilitate accountability and cost recovery; and
– provide timely access to site, operable unit and activity related expense information.
1. ERRP – (Environmental, Restoration and Redevelopment Program)
ERRP conducts and oversees CERCLA response activities within the Waste Management Administration, (WAS). Its areas of responsibilities cover:
– Pre-remedial, remedial, removal and operation & maintenance phases.
– Response activities which include, but are not limited to, investigations, review and comment on reports, oversight and implementation of response actions, and enforcement actions, and
CERCLA activities may be funded under EPA grants/ Cooperative Agreements (CAs). The terms of these grants are negotiated between EPA and the State. The State also uses its own funds in engaging in response activities.
Trained staff conduct technical activities associated with investigation, assessment and cleanup, including related activities such as training, travel, and Program development and the like. These employees shall submit timesheets for further processing and record keeping. Time devoted to various response activities is distributed to a number of unique PCA codes within the timesheets, thereby permitting assignment of costs to appropriate sites, OUs and activities. In addition, the technical staff may initiate requisitions such as purchase and travel requests and other financial documents associated with response activities. PCA codes are also used to assign costs for these and other activities as well.
Clerical and administrative staff may assist the technical staff in fiscal, timekeeping, purchase requisitions, travel vouchers and record keeping matters. This staff also serves as liaison with other divisions in processing time accountability documents and other requisitions.
The Program Administrator of ERRP manages ERRP Program and technical activities and approves all ERRP requisitions. Originators of requisitions must justify the necessity of items requested before approval and must satisfy terms of the grants. Approval, or sign off, by the Program Administrator may be via electronic signature where the Advanced Purchasing Inventory Control System (ADPICS), or a similar system, is used with the Financial Management Information System (FMIS) to process the requisition. FMIS is the computerized statewide accounting system which tracks costs by site, OU and activity, and by grant level.