The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
The BRAC / CERCLA unit within the Office of Spill Prevention and Response’s (OSPR) Resource Assessment Program provides technical expertise on cleanup of sites under the BRAC Act and the CERCLA. The BRAC Act of 1988 initiated the cleanup and closure of a number of military facilities in California. The CERCLA, also known as Superfund law, mandates assessment of hazardous waste sites, including many in California. Through the cleanup process for these sites, the nature and extent of chemical contamination are identified, potential risks to natural resources are assessed, and remediation is completed to protect human health and the environment.
CDFW - OSPR participates in this cleanup process as a natural resource trustee. The Natural Resources Agency Secretary designated CDFW to act on behalf of the public as a state trustee for natural resources pursuant to CERCLA. CDFW-OSPR coordinates with other state agencies (e.g., California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the State Water Resources Control Board) and federal trustees (e.g., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to protect these natural resources.
BRAC / CERCLA Unit staff conduct a variety of activities during the phases of the CERCLA cleanup process for private and military sites throughout California.
During the preliminary assessment and site inspection phase of CERCLA:
- Identify types of habitat, flora, and fauna that occur or potentially occur on-site
- Recommend what type of biological surveys should be done and when
- Evaluate adequacy of site characterization
During the remedial investigation and ecological risk assessment phase of CERCLA:
- Identify appropriate ecological receptors, including bird and mammal species, plants, invertebrates, and aquatic organisms
- Assess whether concentrations of contaminants in soil, water or sediment may present risk to plants, invertebrates, and aquatic life
- Assess whether concentrations of contaminants in soil, water, and the food they eat may present risk to birds and mammals
During the feasibility study and remedial action phase of CERCLA:
- Identify applicable or relevant and appropriate laws and regulations (ARARs) for DFG [e.g., sections within California Fish and Game Code (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html) and the Title 14 California Code of Regulations (http://ccr.oal.ca.gov)]
- Recommend what cleanup levels would be protective of wildlife
- Identify what mitigation or avoidance measures should be considered
- Identify what type of long-term monitoring should be done
External Eco-Risk Links
OSPR Eco-Risk Resources