Under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund), the Superfund enforcement program gets hazardous waste sites cleaned up by finding the companies or people responsible, known as potentially responsible parties (PRPs), for contamination at a site and negotiating with them to do the cleanup themselves or to pay for the cleanup done by another party (e.g., EPA, state, or other parties).
If EPA and the PRP can’t reach a cleanup agreement, the Agency can order the PRP to do the work or have the Department of Justice (DOJ) require the PRP to do the work through the federal court system. If a PRP is not complying with a cleanup agreement or order, EPA’s enforcement program takes action to correct the situation. These actions may include working with DOJ to resolve noncompliance, requiring the PRP to pay penalties, and/or taking over the cleanup work.
Additionally, EPA encourages the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated properties by addressing liability concerns to support cleanup and reuse of contaminated lands. Through the use of guidance and site-specific enforcement tools addressing available liability protections, EPA is able to assist parties seeking to clean up, reuse, or redevelop contaminated properties.
Visit EPA's Superfund program website for information on how EPA cleans up Superfund sites and administers the Superfund program.
Learn More About the Superfund Enforcement Program:
- Finding Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)
- Superfund Liability
- Negotiating Superfund Settlements
- Superfund Unilateral Orders
- Recovering Cleanup Costs
- Complying with Superfund Cleanup Agreements and Orders and Penalties
- Superfund Enforcement Authorities