EPA Announces Seven Final, Five Proposed Superfund Sites

A former chlorine manufacturer, a hard rock mine, a commercial grain elevator and an electroplating facility are among the seven new sites that will be added to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites, EPA announced on Sept. 16. Five additional sites were proposed to the list.

According to the agency, the sites were selected because of their degree of risk to human health and to sensitive environments. With the addition of these seven sites, there are now 1,245 final sites on the NPL. With the addition of the five newly proposed sites, 62 proposed sites await final agency action: 56 in the general Superfund section of the NPL and six in the federal facilities section. Altogether, there are 1,307 final and proposed sites on the list.

The added sites are: Standard Mine, Gunnison National Forest, Colo.; Peach Orchard Road PCE Ground Water Plume, Augusta, Ga.; Garvey Elevator; Hastings, Neb.; Chlor-Alkali Facility (Former); Berlin, N.H.; Blue Ridge Plating Co., Arden, N.C.; Jackson Ceramix, Falls Creek, Pa; Sandy Beach Road Ground Water Plume, Azle, Texas. The proposed sites are: Alternate Energy Resources, Augusta, Ga.; Lake Calumet Cluster, Chicago; Olin Chemical, Wilmington, Mass.; West Highway 6 & Highway 281, Hastings, Neb.; Quendall Terminals, Renton, Wash.

With all Superfund sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination. Historically, on average, "Potentially Responsible Parties" (PRPs) held responsible for the contamination agree to initiate or pay for 70 percent of cleanups started each year. For these newly listed sites without viable PRPs, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant clean-up at the site. While it may be several years before significant clean-up funding is required for these sites, designating these sites now helps ensure the public's safety.

Sites may be placed on the NPL through various mechanisms:

  • Numeric ranking established by EPA's Hazard Ranking System.
  • Designation by states or territories of one top-priority site regardless of score.
  • Meeting all three following requirements:
    • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Public Health Service has issued a health advisory that recommends removing people from the site.
    • EPA determines the site poses a significant threat to public health.
    • EPA anticipates it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority (available only at NPL sites) than to use its emergency removal authority to respond to the site.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

Featured Webinar