US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District Website

FUSRAP: Laws and Regulations Slide Show

Photo of Coldwater Creek.
Photo of remedial action on Eva Avenue in Hazelwood, Missouri, during utility support for roadwork.
During the first shipping campaign at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, approximately 1,900 cubic yards of depleted uranium contaminated soil were loaded onto railcars and shipped out of the installation.
Approximately 15 miles from downtown St. Louis, the St. Louis Airport Project Site is immediately north of St. Louis Lambert International Airport and is bounded by the Norfolk and Western Railroad and Banshee Road on the south, Coldwater Creek on the west, and McDonnell Boulevard and adjacent recreational fields on the north and east.
Workers conduct remedial activities on one of the St. Louis Airport Site Vicinity Properties.
The approach to Coldwater Creek is to first eliminate the sources of contamination. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently remediating properties adjacent to CWC from upstream to downstream.
The St. Louis Downtown Site (SLDS) is located in an industrial area on the eastern edge of St. Louis, just 300 feet west of the Mississippi River. About 11 miles southeast of the St. Louis Lambert International Airport, SLDS is comprised of approximately 210 acres of land, which includes Mallinckrodt Inc. (formerly Mallinckrodt Chemical Works) and 38 surrounding vicinity properties (VPs).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) is currently remediating properties adjacent to Coldwater Creek from upstream to downstream. In 1998, USACE removed contamination from Coldwater Creek to support the City of Florissant’s upgrade of the St. Denis Bridge over the creek. In 2005, contamination in CWC was removed as part of the cleanup at SLAPS.
In 1946, the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) acquired the 21.7-acre tract of land now known as the St. Louis Airport Site (SLAPS) to store residues from uranium processing at the Mallinckrodt facility in St. Louis.

Laws and Regulations

A number of federal laws and regulations guide every step of the FUSRAP cleanup process – from initial site identification to final certification.

It is typical for many FUSRAP sites to fall under several of these laws at the same time, depending on the type of contamination and the actions required to clean it up. Because so many different federal laws apply to environmental cleanup, compliance with these laws becomes very complex. Under certain circumstances, for example, the act of excavating contaminated soil could be affected by all of the laws discussed here. A general description of the main federal laws that apply to FUSRAP follows. While the focus of each of the laws is different, their goals are the same: to protect human health and the environment.


The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 is the main law governing cleanup of FUSRAP sites. In 1986, major changes to this federal law were enacted with the passing of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), which authorized the study and cleanup of uncontrolled hazardous-waste sites. The CERCLA (or Superfund) process consists of three phases:

• Preliminary Assessment
• Evaluating cleanup alternatives
• Selecting a cleanup plan.

The Preliminary Assessment is used to decide which sites should be added to the National Priorities List (NPL), which identifies the most serious uncontrolled hazardous-waste sites. Sites are scored based on their impact on public health and the environment, and those sites that exceed a certain score are added to the NPL.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees CERCLA activities at most NPL sites. The cleanup of FUSRAP NPL sites is guided by a Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) with the EPA and with input from state agencies where the sites are located. The FFA also sets cleanup priorities; defines agency responsibilities, document reviews and interaction among agency officials; and establishes a schedule for work at a site.

CERCLA requirements for site cleanups vary based on the site's size and the extent of contamination. At the major sites, after an initial planning period, workers begin a remedial investigation to identify the types and locations of contamination present. At the same time, a feasibility study is conducted that uses the results of the remedial investigation to formulate a range of cleanup options.

CERCLA allows and encourages public involvement at all stages in the process that leads to a decision for cleaning up a site. The public has an opportunity to comment on the results of the remedial investigation and the analysis of alternatives. To keep the public informed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses various community-outreach programs, including public-information centers, public meetings and periodic fact sheets. Key documents used in making a cleanup decision at a site make up an Administrative Record, which is available to the public at a location near the site.

After the public-comment period on the proposed plan is closed, the Corps of Engineers prepares a draft Record of Decision and submits it to the EPA. For NPL sites, the EPA concurs or makes the final decision on site cleanup after considering input from state agencies and from the public, and the decision is final when the regulators and the Corps of Engineers sign a legally binding Record of Decision.

You can find the actual law at the U.S. House of Representatives site: Read about CERCLA in Title 42's Chapter 103.


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) sets basic national policy on environmental protection. This 1969 federal law established a process for determining if a proposed federal action will have significant environmental effects. NEPA requires federal agencies to consider environmental effects before proceeding with proposed actions.

Proposed federal actions are evaluated in light of NEPA guidelines to determine potential environmental effects and the level of NEPA documentation required. Depending on the results of initial findings, NEPA specifies several options: If an action will clearly have no significant impact, no further studies are required. However, if an action may have an impact on the environment, an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may be required.

In preparing an Environmental Assessment, information is gathered and studied to determine whether impacts are great enough to mean a more complete EIS study is needed. If an EIS isn't required, a "finding of no significant impact" is issued.

When an EIS is required for an action at a site, NEPA requires public input early in the process of studying site conditions and cleanup options. Public involvement at all stages of the process helps ensure that problems are identified, focuses energies and efforts on those areas that must be resolved, and makes for a balanced and complete EIS.

For more information about NEPA, visit the Council on Environmental Quality website.


Because many requirements of CERCLA and NEPA are similar or overlapping, most FUSRAP sites are cleaned up under an integrated CERCLA/NEPA process. Actual cleanup and decision-making activities are achieved under the requirements of CERCLA. Community-relations activities are combined under the more comprehensive provisions of CERCLA and may borrow from the special requirements of NEPA where necessary. Coordination of CERCLA and NEPA requirements results in a means for open decision-making that involves the public, as well as local, state and federal agencies. Site investigations, analyses and documentation requirements of these laws are integrated to simplify regulatory review, reduce paperwork and increase cost-effectiveness.


In addition to CERCLA and NEPA, a number of other federal regulations may also apply to FUSRAP sites, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Passed in 1976 as an amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act, RCRA (pronounced "RIK ruh") establishes a "cradle to grave" system for controlling hazardous waste from the time it is generated until its ultimate disposal.

Contaminated materials at FUSRAP sites may contain both hazardous and radioactive waste. This mixed waste presents special challenges to FUSRAP. RCRA provides very specific requirements stating how mixed waste can be managed, treated and disposed. RCRA also requires appropriate systems for permits and waste management at all FUSRAP sites that involve mixed waste.

Other Regulations

Each FUSRAP site is unique and may need to meet the requirements of other specific laws designed to apply to certain types of contaminants or to particular types of cleanup circumstances. For example, if performing an excavation that may release contaminated dust particles into the air, FUSRAP may need to comply with the requirements of the Clean Air Act. In other situations, FUSRAP may need to comply with different laws, such as the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Clean Water Act and/or the Safe Drinking Water Act as well as many other federal, state and local standards that may also apply to the FUSRAP cleanup.

More about FUSRAP

Protect human health and the environment.

Execute the approved alternative for cleaning up the radioactive contamination above health-based cleanup guidelines.

Minimize adverse impacts on residents and area business operations.

Return sites for appropriate beneficial use.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Louis District 
FUSRAP Area Office
114 James S. McDonnell Blvd.
Hazelwood, MO 63042

NOTE: Due to 2019 novel-coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, the FUSRAP Area Office in Hazelwood, Missouri, will be closed to visitors for the foreseeable future. 


NOTE: Due to COVID-19, phone messages are checked weekly.