Five Sites Added, Six Sites Proposed To Superfund's National Priorities List

Two Puerto Rico sites, two sites in New Jersey and one in Illinois have been added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites, EPA announced on Sept. 26. That brings the total of final sites on the list to 1,246. EPA also is proposing to add six other sites to the list, including two in Texas.

Contaminants found at these final and proposed sites include arsenic, chromium, benzene, dichloroethene, dieldrin, dioxin, lead, pentachlorophenol (PCP), polychlorinated biphenlys (PCBs), toluene, toxaphene, trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), xylene, zinc and other heavy metals.

National Priorities List sites are the most serious sites across the country that have been identified for possible long-term cleanup by EPA's Superfund program. With the proposal of the six new sites, there are 61 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 56 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. Altogether, there are 1,307 final and proposed sites.

Among the five newly added sites, EPA is restoring the Ringwood Mines/Landfill site (Ringwood, N.J.) to the National Priorities List. The site was originally added to the list Sept. 1, 1983, and deleted Nov. 2, 1994. EPA restored the site to the list because contaminated material was discovered since the site was originally taken off the list. EPA has since directed the Ford Motor Co. to renew the cleanup and this has led to investigations of the groundwater, surface water and sediment, and the removal of more than 17,000 tons of waste.

Other sites added to the list:

  • ASARCO Taylor Springs, Taylor Springs, Ill.
  • Matteo & Sons, Inc., Thorofare, N.J.
  • Maunabo Area Ground Water Contamination, Maunabo, Puerto Rico
  • Pesticide Warehouse I, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

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

  • Elm Street Ground Water Contamination, Terre Haute, Ind.
  • South Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Sonford Products, Flowood, Miss.
  • Bandera Road Ground Water Plume, Leon Valley, Texas
  • East 67th Street Ground Water Plume, Odessa, Texas
  • Lockheed West Seattle, Seattle, Wash.

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; and
    • 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.

Additional information on the sites can be found at http://epa.gov/superfund/news/npl_092706.htm.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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