WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding nine new hazardous waste sites that pose risks to people’s health and the environment to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites, and is proposing to include 10 additional sites. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.
“Protecting human health and the environment and restoring contaminated properties to environmental and economic vitality are EPA priorities," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “When property is cleaned up and revitalized, the reuse may result in new income to the community in the form of taxes, jobs to local residents, increases to the values of properties nearby cleaned up sites, or it may provide recreational or other services to make the community a better place to live.”
Since 1983, 1,661 sites have been listed on the NPL. Of these sites, 359 sites have been cleaned up resulting in 1,302 sites currently on the NPL (including the nine sites added today). There are 62 proposed sites (including the 10 announced today) awaiting final agency action.
Contaminants found at the sites include arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chromium, copper, creosote, dichloroethene (DCE), lead, mercury, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), pentachlorophenol (PCP), trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethylene (TCE), toluene, uranium and zinc.
With all NPL sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and require them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant EPA clean up funding is required for these sites.
The following nine sites have been added to the National Priorities List:
The following 10 sites have been proposed for addition to the National Priorities List:
EPA is also withdrawing its earlier proposal to add the Arnold Engineering Development Center site in Coffee and Franklin Counties, Tennessee to the NPL. This site is being addressed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program. Cleanup is progressing successfully, the migration of contaminated ground water is under control and measures have been taken that are protective of human health.