Central Hazardous Materials Fund
In 1995, Congress created the Central Hazardous Materials Fund (CHF) to allow the Department of Interior (DOI) to better deal with those contaminated site requiring medium to long term cleanup under the Superfund Law (DOI is prohibited by statue from using Superfund). The objectives of the CHF are to bring greater consistency and oversight of site cleanups; promote cost-effective cleanup; conduct hazardous materials cleanup activities in a manger consistent with the National Contingency Plan and bureau land use management plans; and pursue cost recovery from parties responsible for contamination.
Decisions regarding the overall operation of the CHF, including the disbursement and allocation of funds to specific sites is vested in the DOI Deputy Assistant Secretaries Advisory Group on Environmental Policy and Compliance. Nominated projects are evaluated by an inter-bureau committee Technical Review Committee (TRC) of technical, legal and budget specialists chaired by the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance. The TRC reviews each project at the beginning of the fiscal year and at mid-year, and monitors cleanup progress. The BLM is the administrative bureau for the CHF appropriation. The CHF appropriation has averaged $10 million annually for the last several years. The BLM's share of the Fund has increased steadily over the year, and in FY2007, the BLM CHF projects received approximately $3.2 million.
Typical CHF sites include landfills, mine tailings, mills, illegal dumps and pesticide releases. To be eligible for the CHF, site: must have a completed PA/Si or equivalent; should have a release or threatened release of hazardous substances; and PRP possibilities must be investigated.