EPA Adds Six Sites, Proposes Four to Superfund's National Priorities List

A former chemical manufacturing plant in Massachusetts that has contaminated groundwater and a former mine in California contaminated with mercury are among the six sites added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. Four sites were proposed to the list, EPA announced on April 19.

With the six additions, the total of final sites on the list is 1,244. Contaminants found at these final and proposed sites include benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chromium, creosote, mercury, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA), carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds, toluene, trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

With the proposal of the four new sites, there are 59 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 54 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. Altogether, there are 1,303 final and proposed sites.

In addition to adding sites, EPA is proposing to restore the Ringwood Mines/Landfill site to the National Priorities List. The site was originally added to the list Sept. 1, 1983, and deleted Nov. 2, 1994.

EPA also is withdrawing the proposal to add the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant in De Soto, Kan., to the list. The proposed rule can be found at 60 FR 8212 (Feb. 13, 1995).

With all Superfund sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination. Historically, through EPA's enforcement program, approximately 70 percent of Superfund cleanups have been performed by the parties responsible for site contamination. 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 cleanup funding is required for these sites.

Sites may be placed on the list through various mechanisms:

  • Numeric ranking established by EPA's Hazard Ranking System.
  • Designation by states or territories of one top-priority site.
  • Meeting all three of the 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 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.

The following sites have been added to the National Priorities List:

  • Klau/Buena Vista Mine, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • Alternate Energy Resources, Augusta, Ga.
  • Olin Chemical, Wilmington, Mass.
  • Parkview Well, Grand Island, Neb.
  • West Highway 6 & Highway 281, Hastings, Neb.
  • Quendall Terminals, Renton, Wash.

The following sites have been proposed to the National Priorities List:

  • ASARCO Taylor Springs, Taylor Springs, Ill.
  • Sherwin-Williams/Hilliards Creek, Gibbsboro, N.J.
  • Matteo & Sons Inc., Thorofare, N.J.
  • Maunabo Urbano Public Wells, Maunabo, Puerto Rico

The following site has been proposed to be restored to the National Priorities List: Ringwood Mines/Landfill, Ringwood, N.J.

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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