By Andrew H. Perellis, Philip L. Comella, and Craig B. Simonsen

Speaking of the U.S. EPA’s draft guidance addressing vapor intrusion at contaminated sites, Mathy Stanislaus, the Agency’s Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, recently told BNA Bloomberg that “my plan is to get this out this year.”

The Agency published its original notice in November 2002, of its “Draft Guidance For Evaluating The Vapor Intrusion to Indoor Air Pathway From Groundwater And Soils (Subsurface Vapor Intrusion Guidance)”. The Agency has been operating with this draft guidance since that time. Comments on this initial notice were due in February 2003.  A subsequent request for comments was then published in March 2011, which public comments were due in May 2011. The rulemaking docket was then again re-opened on April 16, 2013, for public comments on two draft documents. One was the original broad vapor intrusion guidance for all compounds, and two was a second narrower guidance on petroleum hydrocarbon vapor intrusion from underground storage tanks.  Public comments were then due by June 24, 2013.

The Agency indicates that it has “extensively engaged stakeholders and considered extensive and substantive public comments received in 2011 and 2012.” Indeed, the rulemaking docket indicates that over 170 comments were filed. In a bit of confusion, BNA Bloomberg indicates that “Stanislaus said the agency received about 1,000 comments in 2013 on the draft guidance, which it is currently evaluating.” Whether the docket contains 170 or 1000 public comments, the Agency “is working to complete its work expeditiously and issue final subsurface vapor intrusion guidances so that it can be applied in forthcoming decisions.”