Annual Superfund Data Shows Continuing Cleanup Progress
Kerry Humphrey, 202-564-4355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C. - November 22, 2005) The Superfund Program continues to make significant progress in cleaning up America's contaminated sites, according to annual data released today by EPA.
The annual summary, covering Fiscal Year 2005 (which ended on Sept. 30), confirms that EPA completed work at 40 sites, for a cumulative total of 966 sites with work completed - 62 percent of the top priority sites ranked on the National Priorities List. EPA conducted 665 ongoing cleanup projects at 422 sites (includes projects led by EPA, projects led by potentially responsible parties and federal facility sites). EPA funded new work at 17 projects across the country. Superfund also continued to prepare for future cleanup efforts by listing 18 new sites and proposing 12 sites to be added to the NPL.
EPA conducted or oversaw more than 400 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.
"EPA continues to make progress in cleaning up the nation's most contaminated sites. We give top priority to cleaning up sites that pose the greatest risk to human health and to the environment," said Thomas P. Dunne, EPA's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
As the Superfund program matures, so does the size, complexity and cost of sites under or ready to begin construction. In FY 05, 50 percent of the budget for long-term, ongoing cleanup work was committed to 11 sites. Even so, EPA was also able to provide $70 million to start cleanup work at 17 projects across the country.
Underscoring EPA's commitment to the "polluter pays" principle, the Agency secured private party commitments of more than $1.1 billion in FY 05. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct more than $857 million in future response work, and to reimburse EPA for $248 million in past costs.