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Acting Administrator Wheeler Releases Third Update to Administrator’s Superfund Emphasis List

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WASHINGTON  — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its third revision to the Administrator’s Emphasis List of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action (Administrator’s Emphasis List). The West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, MO was removed from the list and three sites – Universal Oil Products, East Rutherford, NJ; Allied Paper, Kalamazoo, MI; and Madison County Anschutz Mine, Fredericktown, MO – were added. With this update, there are a total of 16 Superfund sites on the list, and a total of 11 sites have been removed from the Administrator’s Emphasis List since December 2017 because the short-term milestones were achieved. 

“Removing West Lake Landfill and adding three sites to the Administrator’s Emphasis List demonstrates our commitment to cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated sites as quickly, safely, and thoroughly as possible,” said Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this update, EPA achieves an important objective and commits to focusing on three additional sites that can benefit from immediate attention and action.” 

Removing the Westlake Landfill Superfund site from the Administrator’s Emphasis List reflects a significant achievement under the Superfund Task Force. On September 27, 2018, Acting Administrator Wheeler signed the Record of Decision Amendment for the site, delivering on EPA’s commitment to the people of Missouri to finalize a cleanup plan by the end of Fiscal Year 2018. The improvements made in the final remedy will speed up construction time by a year and reduce risks to the community and cleanup workers. 

The Universal Oil Products Superfund Site is located adjacent to the Berry’s Creek Study Area for which EPA selected a cleanup plan in October 2018.  EPA will evaluate a remedy for the eastern half of the Universal Oil Products site in Spring 2019 so that the site remedy can be performed in combination with the Berry’s Creek remedy. EPA is placing the Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund site back on the list to complete settlement agreement(s) in support of on-going site cleanup. EPA will initiate site characterization and removal actions at the Madison County, Anschutz Mine to clean up the site and support site reuse. 

EPA is committed to continuously looking at ways to improve the management of the Administrator’s Emphasis List. With this update and going forward EPA is now considering sites for the list based on one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Sites where the Administrator’s attention may help to enhance human health and environmental protection, promote more timely resolution of issues, advance more effective cleanup, or promote redevelopment opportunities;
  • Sites in diverse geographical areas and in various environmental settings;
  • Sites that are addressing different contaminants;
  • Both Fund and potentially responsible party lead sites; and
  • Sites that are representative of other sites, which can provide lessons learned and best practices for similar sites.  

Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. 


EPA established the Administrator’s Emphasis List in December 2017 in response to recommendations from EPA’s Superfund Task Force. The list is comprised of sites identified by Acting Administrator Wheeler and EPA regional offices that will benefit from the Administrator’s immediate attention or action. The list is updated quarterly with sites moving on and off the list as needed. 

Each site on the Administrator’s Emphasis List has a short-term milestone to provide the basis for tracking progress at the site. EPA will consider removing a site from the list once the milestone is achieved. Removal from the Administrator’s Emphasis List does not change the site’s status on the National Priorities List.   

While EPA continues to use the list to facilitate progress in the near term by resolving site-specific issues, the Agency also intends to spotlight sites using collaborative or innovative approaches (e.g., new technologies, adaptive management, collaborative partnerships) that could be replicated at other sites across the country. 

EPA remains dedicated to addressing risks at all Superfund sites, not just those on the Administrator’s Emphasis List. The Superfund Task Force Recommendations are aimed at expediting cleanup at all Superfund sites. EPA continues to accelerate progress at Superfund sites across the country.

The updated Administrator’s Emphasis List is available on the Agency’s website at 

The latest information on the work of the Superfund Task Force is available at 

Acting Administrator Wheeler and Special Counsel Peter Wright have recused themselves at this time from participating in any of these particular matters that involve any of their former clients or former employers in the preceding two years. 

Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 EPA established a task force to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment.