Since 1980, EPA has developed and managed a system of federal, state, and local responders that fields 12 reports of hazardous substances releases each day from all over the country. EPA's Emergency Response Program has made many phenomenal accomplishments in the course of responding to a multitude of diverse threats:
- More than 49 million people around the country were protected from health hazards related to hazardous substance releases.
- Over 200,000 people - approximately the population of Hartford, Connecticut - were provided with a safe supply of drinking water (either bottled water or hook-up to safe local water systems) when their drinking water became contaminated.
- Over 40,000 people were moved from the vicinity of very dangerous sites and given temporary housing. Most of these people were able to return home as soon as the EPA made the site safe, but when necessary, the Emergency Response program permanently relocated people.
- Massive amounts of hazardous waste were contained or treated to make sites safe:
- Over 10 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris - enough to cover almost 6,300 acres of land a foot deep.
- 1,569 million gallons of contaminated liquids - over 110 gallons for every person in Texas.
- 288 million gallons of polluted water - more than three times the daily water use in Vermont.