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Fact Sheet Administrative Record August 1998

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The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended by the Super-fund Amendments Reauthorization Act (SARA), require that information on environmental restoration and waste management activities be made available to interested parties so they may participate in decisions that affect their lives. Two important tools for providing public information are Administrative Records and lnformation Repositories.

Administrative Record

An administrative record is a collection of documents that form the basis for selecting a remedy for site cleanup. The administrative record file includes reports prepared by USACE, as well as other technical and site-specific information, comments submitted by the public and government agencies, and transcripts of public meetings.

Relevant documents are included in the administrative record if they were considered or relied on during the decision-making process, even if a particular document does not support the final decision on the remedy. Judicial review of issues related to adequacy of site cleanup is generally limited to documents included in the administrative record for the site.

The administrative record is usually maintained at a USACE public information center and/or at a public library near the site. The administrative record includes:

Information Repository

Site information repositories also are maintained at USACE public information centers and local public libraries. Documents in the information repository are kept in one or more loose-leaf binders. They generally include the following categories:

Public Access

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) uses these tools to encourage public participation in the remedy selection and decision-making process for FUSRAP sites. When a cleanup remedy is proposed, the document describing the preferred cleanup strategy is placed in the Administrative Record for the public review. Any comments on documents -- and the responses to those comments -- also are placed in the administrative record file.

Documents in administrative records and information repositories also are available for public viewing or photocopying. Hours of availability depend on the library or the public information center where the documents are located. Generally, they are available during normal working hours Monday through Friday and in some cases on weekends. Check with your local library or USACE information center for hours when the documents are available for viewing.

To ensure that the documents are available when needed, they are maintained as noncirculating reference documents. This means that they may not be removed from the library or information center.

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