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*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.

EPA Office/Lab and LocationOne or more undergraduate summer opportunities are available with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR). This internship is located in the EPA headquarters office in Washington, D.C. and would be subject to in person policies at the time of the internship.

ORCR encourages applicants with a diverse range of educational backgrounds and experiences for these learning opportunities. EPA’s RCRA Economic Assurance Program works with States, EPA Regions and other EPA HQ offices to manage and oversee a range of “polluter pays” programs to ensure the polluter–not the taxpayer- pays for the cleanup hazardous waste sites across the country. The Economic Assurance team is currently focused on a series of high-profile economic assurance rulemakings, direct implementation of economic assurance requirements at certain facilities, and management of the RCRA economic assurance program – the cornerstone of many EPA Financial assurance programs.

Research Project: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in projects, in accordance with his/her preferences, such as:

  • Researching various economic assurance topics related to interpretations and/or rulemakings
  • Coordinating with States and Regions on various financial assurance matters
  • Modernizing the cataloguing and organizing of program files for easy access and retention
  • Analyzing program, market and sector data and information and preparing analyses and graphics regarding financial assurance, economic, financial, or programmatic topics
  • Contributing to the development of training materials conveying improvements to and new products of the RCRA Economic Assurance program

The specific areas will be agreed upon in the first weeks of their internships and will be based on a matching of skill sets and interests.

Learning Objectives: The participant will learn from EPA’s Financial Assurance staff, staff from other EPA headquarters program offices, EPA regional staff and State Agency staff on a variety of activities and projects. The participant will have an excellent opportunity to learn and participate in EPA rulemaking process, learn about the various EPA “polluter pays” programs and efforts while assisting the RCRA Economic Assurance team.

Mentor(s): The mentor for questions about this opportunity is Anna Krueger ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s) directly.
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 2022. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for four months and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.

EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).

Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.