Superfund Remedial Program Improvement Options

Evaluation Design

by Christopher W. Myers, Arthur J. Alexander, James S. Hodges


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This Note describes a proposed research design to evaluate certain changes developed by the Environmental Protection Agency for operating and managing the Superfund remedial program to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The Note outlines considerations in designing an appropriate pilot evaluation framework, including site selection and performance criteria for two of the proposed Superfund remedial program improvements. Based on current information, the findings suggest that any effort to evaluate pilot changes in the remedial program should (1) develop a better understanding of the factors (e.g., site characteristics, management policies) driving project outcomes (e.g., cost, cost growth, schedule slippage); (2) draw a sample of sites representative of the population of sites for which inferences are needed; and (3) within strata, assign sites randomly to pilot or control groups.

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