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EPA Making Strides in Cleaning Up Nation’s Most Contaminated Sites

Includes partial deletion of Omaha Lead Superfund Site

01/02/2018
Contact Information: 
Angela Brees (brees.angela@epa.gov)
913-551-7940

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Jan. 2, 2018) - As a result of staff working hard to implement Administrator Pruitt’s initiatives to make strides in cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated toxic land sites, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing significant improvement in 2017 – through the deletion of all or parts of seven Superfund sites from the National Priorities List (NPL), including the Omaha Lead Superfund Site in Nebraska. This is more than triple the number of sites removed from the list in 2016.

“We have made it a priority to get these sites cleaned up faster and in the right way,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “By creating a streamlined task force and making major remedy decisions that hold potentially responsible parties accountable for cleanup, the Superfund program is carrying out the Agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment more every day.”

The Omaha Lead Superfund Site includes contaminated surface soils from historic lead smelting and refining operations. The site extends from the Douglas-Sarpy county line north to Read Street, and from the Missouri River west to 56th Street. The site is centered near downtown Omaha, Neb., where two former lead-processing facilities operated.

In April 2017, EPA announced the deletion of 294 residential parcels located in the eastern portion of the Omaha greater metropolitan area from the NPL. Cleanup efforts included soil replacement and/or interior dust removal, and educating residents on mitigating other household lead hazards.

EPA and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality concluded that lead abatement activities at these properties were complete and protective of public health.

In 2016, EPA had deletion activities at two NPL sites, one full site, and portions of another. But in 2017, under the leadership of Administrator Pruitt, EPA has deleted three entire sites and portions of four others. This increase in deletions reflects the Administrator’s commitment to accelerating progress, reducing risks at Superfund sites, and returning sites to productive use.

These deletions come on the heels of Administrator Pruitt’s list of 21 sites that have been targeted for immediate and intense attention – a direct response to the Superfund Task Force Recommendations issued this summer.

NPL deletion occurs when all the remedies are successfully implemented and no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment. The Agency deletes portions of NPL sites when work at those portions is complete and other parts of the site still have ongoing actions.

The three completely deleted sites are:

  • Nutting Truck & Caster Co. in Minnesota, originally contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) in groundwater
  • Shpack Landfill in Massachusetts, which had contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater
  • Perdido Ground Water Contamination in Alabama, which was originally contaminated with benzene

EPA completed partial deletions for:

  • Mystery Bridge Road/U.S. Highway 20 in Wyoming, which had a groundwater plume and soils that contained benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylenes
  • Ellisville Site in Missouri, which contained drums full of hazardous materials
  • Omaha Lead in Nebraska, where surface soil was contaminated by deposition of air emissions from historic lead smelting and refining operations
  • North Penn - Area 6 in Pennsylvania, where soils and groundwater were contaminated with volatile organic compounds

Deleting a site or portions of a site from the NPL may facilitate future redevelopment, one of EPA’s goals for the Superfund program.

The NPL is one focus area of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations to improve and revitalize the Superfund program. Work to prioritize and reinvigorate the Superfund program is underway and will continue into 2018.

The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations.

Additional information about EPA’s NPL deletions can be viewed at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-national-priorities-list-deletion.

To search for more information about these sites, and other sites deleted from the NPL, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-national-priorities-list-npl-deletion-search.

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