Under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA, commonly known as Superfund), the Superfund enforcement program gets sites cleaned up by finding the companies or people responsible for contamination at a site and negotiating with or ordering them to do the cleanup themselves, or to pay for the cleanup done by another party (i.e., EPA, state, or other responsible parties).
If a responsible party does not agree to do the cleanup, EPA can issue an order to do certain work, or work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue the party through the federal court system. If a party is out of compliance with an order or settlement, the Superfund enforcement program takes action to bring the party into compliance. Such action may include: referring the case to DOJ for enforcement, assessing penalties, and/or taking over the 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 the 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
Superfund Enforcement Resources:
- Superfund Enforcement Policy and Guidance Database
- Superfund enforcement reports and publications
- Superfund enforcement cases and settlements
- Search Manual (2017 edition)