The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added 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. 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:
Armstrong World Industries (ceiling tile manufacturer), Macon, GA.
Horton Iron and Metal (former fertilizer manufacturer and metal salvage), Wilmington, NC.
To date, there have been 1,627 sites listed on the NPL. Of these sites, 346 sites have been deleted resulting in 1,281 sites currently on the NPL (including the seven new sites added in today’s rulemaking). There are 62 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 57 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. There are a total of 1,343 final and proposed sites.
Contaminants found at the sites include arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, dichloroethene (DCE), lead, mercury, polynuclear aromatic hydrcarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethene (TCE), vinyl chloride, and zinc.
With all Superfund sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination to either fund the cleanup or conduct the cleanup with EPA oversight. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will fund the cleanup. Each Superfund site is investigated to determine the full extent of the contamination before cleanup is started. Therefore, it may be several years before significant cleanup funding is required for the 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.
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm