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EPA updates Superfund National Priorities List to clean up pollution and address public health risks

September 23rd, 2022 / By: / News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding five sites to the Superfund National Priorities List and is proposing to add another two where releases of contamination pose significant human health and environmental risk.

“All people in this country, no matter the color of their skin, their zip code or income, deserve to live in communities free from harmful pollutants and contaminated lands,” says EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “By adding sites to the Superfund National Priorities List, we are accelerating cleanups and working to ensure that more people living near the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination have the health and environmental protections they deserve.”

Thousands of contaminated sites, from landfills and processing plants to manufacturing facilities, exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will accelerate EPA’s work to help communities clean up these contaminated sites with a $3.5 billion investment in the Superfund Remedial Program and reinstates the Superfund chemical excise taxes, making it one of the largest investments in American history to address legacy pollution. This historic investment strengthens EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment, and EPA has already set action in motion to clear the backlog of the 49 contaminated sites which had been awaiting funding to start remedial action.

With this Superfund National Priorities List update, the Biden-Harris Administration is following through on its commitment to update the Superfund National Priorities List twice a year, as opposed to once per year. By pledging to add sites more regularly to the Superfund National Priorities List, EPA is taking action to protect the health of communities across the country while cleaning up and returning blighted properties to safe and productive reuse in areas where environmental cleanup and jobs are needed most.

EPA is adding the following sites to the Superfund National Priorities List:
Lower Hackensack River, Bergen and Hudson Counties, N.J.
Brillo Landfill, Victory, New York
Ochoa Fertilizer Co., Guánica, Puerto Rico
Georgetown North Groundwater, Georgetown, Del.
Highway 3 PCE, Le Mars, Iowa              

EPA is proposing to add the following sites to the Superfund National Priorities List:
East Basin Road Groundwater, New Castle, Del.
PCE Carriage Cleaners, Bellevue, Neb.

The Superfund National Priorities List includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at non-federal sites included on the Superfund National Priorities List are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup. Cleanup at federal facilities is funded by the lead federal agency responsible for the site.

Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited for significant reductions in both birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24 percent within three miles of sites after cleanup. Thanks to Superfund cleanups, communities are now using previously blighted properties for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. As of 2021, EPA has collected economic data on 650 Superfund sites. At these sites, there are 10,230 businesses operating on these sites, 246,000 people employed, an estimated $18.6 billion in income earned by employees, and $65.8 billion in sales generated by businesses. For information about Superfund and the Superfund National Priorities List, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund