The Administrative Record is a specialized file required by the federal Comprehensive Environmental Restoration, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and contains all information considered or relied on to select the cleanup remedy at the former Fort Ord. It also contains key technical reports and administrative guidance for the cleanup of this National Priorities List (NPL) site. (The NPL is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of hazardous waste sites that are considered most important for cleanup. Fort Ord was listed on the NPL in 1990.)
The Administrative Record serves two primary purposes. First, the record contains documents which form the basis for selection of a response action. Section 113 (j)(1) of CERCLA and general principles of administrative law, limits the courts to the use of the Administrative Record to support judicial review when the adequacy of a response action is being challenged. Second, the record acts as a vehicle for public participation, thus ensuring that the government has considered the concerns of the public during the response selection process.
Contents of the Administrative Record include a variety of written material, such as pieces of correspondence, data reports, assessments, plans, newspaper articles, notices, and fact sheets. Also included, but not limited to, are Archive Search Reports, site photographs and maps, site descriptions and chronologies, reference documents, sampling and analysis data and plans, work plans, site safety and health plans, Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirements, Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analyses, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Studies, Health and Endangerment Assessments, Proposed Plans for remedial action, Records of Decision, Community Relations Plans, public meeting minutes/transcripts, Environmental Baseline Studies, and Findings of Suitability to Transfer/Lease documents.
Guidance: Compiling Administrative Records for Superfund Response Actions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Final Guidance on Administrative Records for Selecting CERCLA Response Actions” sets forth policy and procedures governing the compilation and establishment of administrative records.