The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding 10 new hazardous waste sites that pose risks to human health and the environment to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. The NPL is a listing of priority sites that EPA investigates to determine if actions are needed to clean up the waste. Superfund is the federal program that cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country – protecting the health of nearby communities and ecosystems from harmful contaminants. In addition to the final sites added to the list, EPA is also proposing to add eight sites to the NPL.
Contaminants found at these sites may pose a wide range of health effects. The contaminants found include arsenic, benzene, chromium, copper, creosote, cyanide, dichloroethene (DCE), lead, mercury, perchloroethene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and selenium, among others.
To date, there are 1,279 sites on the NPL (including the 10 new sites added today). With the proposal of the eight new sites, there are 61 proposed sites awaiting final agency action. There are a total of 1,340 final and proposed sites.
With all Superfund sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination to pay for the clean up. 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. Contaminated 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
- Meeting all three of the following requirements:
- The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 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.
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm
The following 10 sites have been added to the National Priorities List:
Salt Chuck Mine (Outer Ketchikan County, Alaska)
JJ Seifert Machine (Ruskin, Fla.)
Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Chemetco (Madison County, Ill.)
Lake Calumet Cluster (Chicago, Ill.)
Gratiot County Golf Course (St. Louis, Mich.)
Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa (Navassa, N.C.)
Gowanus Canal (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Black Butte Mine (Cottage Grove, Ore.)
Van Der Horst USA Corporation (Terrell, Texas)
The following eight sites have been proposed to the National Priorities List:
Sanford Dry Cleaners (Sanford, Fla.)
St. Clair Shores Drain (St. Clair Shores, Mich.)
Vienna Wells (Vienna, Mo.)
ACM Smelter and Refinery (Cascade County, Mont.)
Wright Chemical Corporation (Riegelwood, N.C.)
Black River PCBs (Jefferson County, N.Y.)