Last summer, we told you about EPA’s plans to make changes to the way it stores data as part of the Superfund program. Specifically, EPA announced that it would be retiring CERCLIS, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System, and replacing it with a more modern system called Superfund Enterprise Management System (SEMS). EPA released data from SEMS in January 2016 and we’re posting today to let you know that EDR has acquired this data and after quality control and assurance, we’ve added it to our reports.
EPA had used CERCLIS to store information about releases, cleanups and enforcement activities since the dawn of the Superfund act—which was more than 30 years ago. The change to SEMS is largely driven by EPA’s need to bring its database system in line with current technology. Here’s what you need to know:
SEMS replaces CERCLIS
In the simplest terms, you can think of the change like this: the database name “SEMS” replaces the acronym “CERCLIS”. The site records previously stored in CERCLIS have now been moved over to SEMS, and therefore, EDR is using SEMS in our reports.
As of October 2013, EPA has stopped updating CERCLIS.
When EDR acquired SEMS data, we identified about a thousand additional records in SEMS that had not been included in the final update to CERCLIS. These records were added to EPA’s systems during the interim between CERCLIS and SEMS availability. EDR now includes these records in our reports.
SEMS Data Fields
With SEMS, EPA has provided several fields of data: site identification number, EPA identification number, Federal Facility status, NPL Status and non-NPL status. To supplement these fields, EDR includes the corresponding site data from CERCLIS, providing you with all current and retired data fields. Over time, EPA may provide more data fields from SEMS as they continue the migration to the new computer system– and EDR will make appropriate updates if they do.
SEMS-Archive replaces CERCLIS-NFRAP (no further remedial action plan).
EPA has renamed their archive system to SEMS-Archive. Your EDR reports will include both SEMS-Archive and NFRAP data.
Regulations and industry standards have not changed their language.
The term CERCLIS will remain within the CERCLA statute. The ASTM E1527-13 standard will also retain the legacy terminology. The database updating requirements in the industry standards remain the same as well, which means it is appropriate to use correctly updated SEMS data in those sections referencing CERCLIS.
As of today, EDR government records reports have been updated.
All EDR government record reports that included CERCLIS will now include SEMS and SEMS-ARCHIVE. You’ll find the SEMS acronym used in various sections of the report.
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