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EPA Seeks Public Comments on Addition of Subsurface Intrusion Component to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System

Release Date: 02/04/2016
Contact Information: Julia P. Valentine (News media only), valentine.julia@epa.gov (202) 564-2663, (202) 564-4355

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on the proposed addition of a subsurface intrusion (SsI) component to the Superfund Hazard Ranking System (HRS). The HRS is a scoring system EPA uses to identify hazardous waste sites eligible to be added to the National Priorities List (NPL).

SsI is the migration of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants from contaminated groundwater or soil into an overlying building, similar to the way radon gas seeps into homes. SsI can result in people being exposed to harmful levels of hazardous substances, which may be amplified/increased by extended time spent in buildings where SsI occurs. This can raise the lifetime risk of cancer or chronic disease. In an effort to ensure that SsI contamination is consistently evaluated, EPA is proposing to add an HRS component allowing EPA to evaluate threats posed by SsI.

Sites receiving HRS scores above a specific threshold are eligible to be proposed for addition to the NPL; EPA targets sites on the NPL for further investigation and possible remediation through the Superfund program. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term permanent cleanup.

The public comment period for the proposed rule will be 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Visit
www.regulations.gov to view instructions for submitting comments.

Further information and FAQs about this proposed HRS SsI addition:
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/hrs-subsurface-intrusion

Information about how a site is listed on the NPL:
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-national-priorities-list-npl

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