From: Editor, ENN
Published May 9, 2014 07:18 AM

National Priorities List of Superfund sites adds seven

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is added seven hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. They are:

- MacMillan Ring Free Oil (former oil refinery) - Norphlet, AK

- Keddy Mill (former sawmill, grist and wool carding mill) - Windham, ME

- PCE Southeast Contamination (ground water plume) - York, NE

- PCE/TCE Northeast Contamination (ground water plume) - York, NE

- Unimatic Manufacturing Corporation (former chemical manufacturer) - Fairfield, NJ

- Wolff-Alport Chemical Company (former metal extraction facility) - Ridgewood, NY

- Walker Machine Products, Inc. (former machine screw products manufacturer) - Collierville, TN

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Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country to protect people's health and the environment. "Cleaning up contaminated land is critical to the protection of human health and the environment," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "Superfund cleanups also play an important role in advancing the economic well-being of communities by turning formerly idle properties into productive community assets that can broaden tax bases, create jobs, enhance property values and support improved overall well-being."

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program, requires EPA to update the NPL at least annually and clean up hazardous waste sites to protect human health with the goal of returning them to communities for productive use. 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 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.

Superfund actions frequently convert contaminated land into productive local resources and increase local property values by eliminating or reducing real and perceived health risks and environmental contamination associated with hazardous waste sites. A 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.

Read more at the EPA

Keddy Mill image via Lakes Region Weekly.

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