News Releases from Region 4
EPA Adds Two Hazardous Waste Sites in the Southeast to Superfund’s National Priorities List, Proposing an Additional Two Sites
Release Date: 05/21/2013
Contact Information: James Pinkney, (404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main) firstname.lastname@example.org
(ATLANTA – May. 21, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the addition of two new hazardous waste sites in the southeast that pose risks to human health and the environment to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. EPA is also proposing to add another two 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.
The following two sites in the Southeast have been added to the National Priorities List:
• Macon Naval Ordnance Plant (MNOP) in Macon, Ga.; and
• Clinch River Corporation (former pulp and paper mill) in Harriman, Tenn.
The following two sites have been proposed for addition to the National Priorities List:
• Cristex Drum (former fabric mill) in Oxford, N.C.; and
• Hemphill Road TCE (former chemical drum recycling) in Gastonia, N.C.;
A site’s listing neither imposes a financial obligation on EPA nor assigns liability to any party. Updates to the NPL do, however, provide policymakers and the public with a list of high priority sites, serving to identify the size and nature of the nation’s cleanup challenges.
The Superfund program has provided important benefits for people and the environment since Congress established the program in 1980.Those benefits are both direct and indirect, and include reduction of threats to human health and ecological systems in the vicinity of Superfund sites, improvement of the economic conditions and quality of life in communities affected by hazardous waste sites, prevention of future releases of hazardous substances, and advances in science and technology.
By eliminating or reducing real and perceived health risks and environmental contamination associated with hazardous waste sites, Superfund actions frequently convert contaminated land into productive local resources and increase local property values. A recent study conducted by researchers at Duke and Pittsburgh Universities concluded that, while a site’s proposal to the NPL reduces property values slightly, making a site final on the NPL begins to increase property values surrounding Superfund sites. Furthermore, the study found that, once a site has all cleanup remedies in place, surrounding properties have a significant increase in property values as compared to pre-NPL proposal values.
Since 1983, EPA has listed 1,685 sites on the NPL. At 1,145 or 68 percent of NPL sites, all cleanup remedies are in place. Approximately 610 or 36 percent of NPL sites have all necessary long-term protections in place, which means EPA considers the sites protective for redevelopment or reuse.
Contaminants found at the sites include arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chromium, copper, creosote, dichloroethene (DCE), lead, mercury, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), pentachlorophenol (PCP), trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethylene (TCE), toluene, uranium and zinc.
With all NPL sites, EPA works first to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and requires them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. 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 EPA clean up funding is required for these sites.
Contaminated 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. 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.
Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm
Information about how a site is listed on the NPL:
Superfund sites in local communities: