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What's Ahead for Superfund Redevelopment

Progress in Communities – Commemorating 15 Years of Superfund Redevelopment

Since 1980, EPA’s Superfund program has worked with communities nationwide to safeguard public health and advance environmental protection. The program’s actions have restored the environment and halted the potential exposure of millions of people to hazardous substances in all 50 states.

In 2014, EPA celebrates the 15th anniversary of Superfund Redevelopment, the Agency’s coordinated effort to help Superfund communities return formerly contaminated sites to safe and productive use. Communities nationwide have undertaken compelling journeys to make this possible. EPA has worked hard to support these journeys – listening, supporting and working alongside communities, local governments, tribes, site owners, responsible parties and other stakeholders.

Today, EPA tracks more than 700 sites in actual, continued or planned use. In cities across the country – Los Angeles, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Houston, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia – these areas are now home to businesses, parks, renewable energy centers, wildlife habitat, housing and agriculture. More than 44,000 jobs at these sites have resulted in more than $3.4 billion in annual income for employees.

Looking to the future, EPA is updating and expanding existing services and pursuing new avenues to support Superfund Redevelopment. EPA is also developing new tools and information resources to share key lessons learned and raise the profile of Superfund Redevelopment with new audiences.

  • Serving Communities: The centerpiece of EPA’s success is our commitment to listening to, supporting and working alongside local communities and stakeholders. Through the Community Engagement Initiative, EPA emphasizes meaningful, “early and often” public outreach as a core component of the Superfund program. We seek to include a broad range of people and communities in our work and expand our engagement with communities historically underrepresented in Superfund decision-making, one community at a time.
  • Investing in the Future: EPA supports community-based reuse planning projects. Communities leverage these investments – sustaining redevelopment opportunities with additional resources from the public and private sectors. For EPA, integrating remedy and reuse strengthens remedies, helps ensure long-term protectiveness, and can lower cleanup costs.
  • Building Partnerships: EPA collaborates with diverse organizations to provide Superfund communities with the tools and resources they need to make reuse happen. Current partners include the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the Pollinator Partnership, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
  • Sharing Innovations: Through a wide range of materials – videos, fact sheets, case studies, trainings – EPA highlights reuse successes that break new ground. Recent innovations at Superfund sites include renewable energy production, green buildings, public transit stations, ecological revitalization, green infrastructure and smart growth projects.

Today, Superfund Redevelopment is an integral part of EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. EPA is committed to working with communities to help them reclaim their sites for safe and appropriate reuses. Tomorrow, Superfund Redevelopment will continue to make a difference in new ways, fueled by new ideas and the energies of Superfund communities.

EPA is celebrating Superfund Redevelopment’s 15th anniversary throughout 2014. We invite you to join us as we highlight reuse stories, share reuse tools and information, and discuss reuse opportunities and innovations. To learn more, please visit the Superfund Redevelopment site.    

“Americans know that they don’t have to choose between their health and a strong economy. They can – and should – have both.”
– Administrator Gina McCarthy