EPA adds 12 sites, proposes 6 to Superfund priority list

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding 12 new hazardous waste sites that pose risks to human health and the environment to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. EPA is also proposing to add six other sites to the list. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. To date, there have been 1,581 sites listed to the NPL. Of these sites, 324 sites have been deleted...

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2008 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding 12 new hazardous waste sites that pose risks to human health and the environment to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. EPA is also proposing to add six other sites to the list. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

To date, there have been 1,581 sites listed to the NPL. Of these sites, 324 sites have been deleted resulting in 1,257 final sites on the NPL. With the proposal of the six new sites, there are 60 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 55 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. There are a total 1,317 final and proposed sites on the NPL.

Contaminants found at these final and proposed sites include arsenic, barium, carbon tetrachloride, chromium, copper, dichloroethene, dioxins, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans, tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethane, trichloroethene (TCE), vinyl chloride and zinc.

With all Superfund sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the 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.

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

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