The Administrative Record File contains the documents and information considered or relied on in the selection of a response action and in controlling hazardous waste management activities. At the Savannah River Site, the Administrative Record File will fulfill the requirements of Section XXXIV, Administrative Record, of the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA).
An Administrative Record File for an individual waste unit is initiated upon the approval by the EPA-IV and the SCDHEC of an RFI/RI Work Plan. The File is compiled until the decision of the response action is chosen (the signing of the Record of Decision). At that time the Administrative Record File is finalized and is called the Administrative Record for that waste unit.
An Administrative Record serves two primary purposes. First, it is a vehicle for public participation in the selection of the response action. Section 113(k)(2) of CERCLA provides the public with an opportunity to participate in a response decision. The Administrative Record makes available the information considered or relied on in the selection and provides the opportunity for public involvement. Without opportunity for this involvement of interested persons, the limitation of court review solely to the Administrative Record
can be challenged. Therefore, the Administrative Record will also record the public participation in the decision process and reflect the views of members of the public.
The second purpose of the Administrative Record is concerned with the presentation of evidence in the event of litigation. Judicial review of any issue concerning the adequacy of a response selection is limited to the Administrative Record. Under section 113(j)(2) of CERCLA, the trial court reviewing the selected response decision is limited the facts as set out in the Administrative Record. The Courts will not allow the use of discovery, hearings or additional fact findings unless the Administrative Record is found to be incomplete or poorly prepared. Provided the Administrative Record is adequate, the court will limit its review of the response decision made to the standard of arbitrary and capricious or otherwise not in accordance with the law. The Administrative Record should therefore chronicle the response decision process, whereby a judge could easily follow how and why a decision was made.
An Information Repository File contains information and documents that do not meet the definition of Administrative Record Files but that contain site and unit information, documents on site and unit activities, and general information.