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EPA Announces 2018 Annual Superfund Accomplishments, Including the USS Lead Superfund Site

03/04/2019
Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)
312-886-7159

For Immediate Release: No. 19-OPA009

CHICAGO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing Superfund’s annual report covering major accomplishments and environmental progress during fiscal year 2018. The Superfund program is a top priority for EPA under President Trump, and the agency is making great strides in accelerating sites through remediation and back to productive use. As detailed in the report, communities across the country are benefitting from these efforts.

“We are proud to report that in Fiscal Year 2018 EPA deleted all or part of 22 sites from the National Priorities List, the largest number of deletions in one year since 2005,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By renewing and elevating our focus on Superfund under President Trump, we are accelerating cleanups, returning sites to productive reuse, and revitalizing communities across the country.”

During the 2018 construction season, EPA and several potentially responsible parties conducted soil and interior dust cleanup work at residential and commercial properties on the Superfund site. EPA and the potentially responsible parties completed soil cleanups at 298 properties and interior dust cleanings at 67 properties. Over the last three years, 587 soil cleanups and 192 interior dust cleanings took place at the site. EPA anticipates the residential area cleanup work will be substantially completed in 2019. As part of the site outreach, the community involvement team made more than 1,350 contacts with residents and issued a Technical Assistance Grant to the East Chicago Calumet Coalition Citizens Advisory Group. In addition, EPA made significant progress toward a proposed plan for a remedy change at the West Calumet Housing Complex during Fiscal Year 2018. EPA issued the proposed plan in November 2018 for public comment.

Highlights of EPA’s 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Improving human health for people living near our sites by controlling potential or actual human exposure risk at 32 additional Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) sites and controlling the migration of contaminated groundwater at 29 sites.
  • Deleting 18 full and four partial sites from the NPL – the largest number of deletions in one year since 2005 – signaling to the surrounding communities that EPA has completed the job of transforming these once highly contaminated areas.
  • Returning sites to communities for redevelopment by identifying 51 additional sites as having all long-term protections in place and meeting our “sitewide ready for anticipated use” designation, the highest annual result since 2013.
  • Completing or providing oversight of 242 Superfund removal actions at sites where contamination posed an imminent and substantial threat to human health and the environment.
  • Quickly and effectively responding to large scale emergencies brought on by hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters in California, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.
  • Moving many sites closer to completion by making decisions that have been delayed, including West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.; USS Lead in East Chicago, Ind.; and San Jacinto Waste Pits in Channelview, Texas.

In addition, in July 2018, on the one-year anniversary of the agency’s Superfund Task Force Recommendations, EPA issued a report covering Task Force accomplishments to date and laying out its plan for completing the remaining recommendations in 2019.

Click here to read the full report: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-remedial-annual-accomplishments

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