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Environmental Restoration Program

Welcome to the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) website dedicated to its Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). The ERP is part of a nationwide effort by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to identify and clean up contaminated areas at its facilities. The mission of the ERP is to protect human health and the environment by investigating and cleaning up soil and groundwater contaminated by past activities at Berkeley Lab.

Berkeley Lab operates its Hazardous Waste Handling Facility under a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Permit issued by the California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). As a condition of the permit, Berkeley Lab is required to investigate and remediate the historic releases of hazardous waste and chemicals that have occurred at its main site in the Berkeley hills.

The investigation and any required cleanup are being conducted under the direction of DTSC as part of the RCRA Corrective Action Process (CAP). (For a useful summary of the “corrective action process” click here.) Other regulatory agencies assisting DTSC in oversight of the CAP include the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and the City of Berkeley Toxics Management Division. The RWQCB is responsible for the technical review of surface water and groundwater issues and the City of Berkeley for the technical review of underground storage tanks. Assessment and characterization of areas potentially contaminated with radionuclides have been conducted under the regulatory authority of the DOE as a separate process under the Atomic Energy Act.