Environmental Protection

Should Vapor Intrusion be Part of NPL Decisionmaking?

EPA is asking for comments on seven topics related to potential revisions of its Hazard Ranking System.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will accept public input on whether to include vapor intrusion threats (Federal Register notice, pdf) as a component for including hazardous waste sites on the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

Vapor intrusion describes the migration of volatile chemicals from contaminated groundwater or soil into the atmosphere, and is a particular concern if vapors enter an overlying building.

EPA is accepting public feedback on seven specific topics related to the potential revisions to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), which is used to evaluate sites for the Superfund list, for 75 days. The agency will consider information gathered during the comment period, as well as input from three public listening sessions before making a decision on whether to issue a proposed rulemaking to add a vapor intrusion component to the HRS.

The agency will host its first public listening session at its Arlington, Va., office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 24. The deadline for registering to present oral comments at the Arlington listening session is Feb. 17. If no speakers have registered by Feb. 18, the listening session will be canceled, and EPA will notify those who registered of the cancellation.

Two additional listening sessions will be held in San Francisco, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Dates, times, and addresses for the listening sessions will be posted on its Superfund webpage.

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