EPA Proposes to Add Henryetta, Okla., Site to Superfund National Priorities List to Protect Human Health
DALLAS – (Oct. 30, 2019) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is proposing to add the Henryetta Iron and Metal site in Henryetta, Oklahoma, to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The site is among five being added to the NPL and one other proposed nationwide.
“Our commitment to communities with sites on the National Priorities List is that they are a true national priority,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Under the Trump Administration, EPA has a renewed focus on the Superfund program. We are taking action to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated sites, protect the health of communities, and return contaminated land to safe and productive reuse for future generations.”
“Sites like Henryetta Iron and Metal can leave a legacy of pollution that becomes a burden to the community,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Proposing the site to the NPL is the first step to cleaning up the contamination for the benefit of the area’s families and natural resources.”
The former Henryetta Iron and Metal site, in southern Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, had been used as a metal salvage yard since the 1930s. Soils, groundwater, and a nearby creek are contaminated with metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). The state of Oklahoma referred the site to EPA, and submitted a letter of support for proposing to place the site on the NPL.
The following sites are being added to the NPL:
- Arsenic Mine in Kent, N.Y.
- Schroud Property in Chicago, Ill.
Before being added to the NPL, a site must meet the listing requirements and be proposed for addition to the list in the Federal Register, subject to a 60-day public comment period. The site will be added to the NPL if it continues to meet the listing requirements after the public comment period closes and the agency has responded to any comments.
The following sites are being proposed to the NPL:
- Blades Groundwater in Blades, Del.
- Clearwater Finishing in Clearwater, S.C.
- Highway 100 and County Road 3 Groundwater Plume in St. Louis Park and Edina, Minn.
- Henryetta Iron and Metal in Henryetta, Okla.
- Caney Residential Yards in Caney, Kan.
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste releases. The list serves as EPA’s basis for prioritizing Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.
Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited for significant reductions in birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24% within 3 miles of sites after cleanup.
Redeveloped Superfund sites can generate substantial economic activity. Thanks to Superfund cleanups, previously blighted properties are now being used for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses and solar power generation. At 529 Superfund sites returned to productive use, 8,600 businesses operate with 195,000 employees earning more than $13 billion in annual income.
Community members are key partners at Superfund sites, and their early involvement leads to better cleanup decisions, including those about a site’s future use.
In September, EPA announced the Superfund Task Force’s completion and issued its final report outlining significant accomplishments at Superfund sites across the country over the past two years. The Task Force’s important work will continue under the Superfund Program and at all sites on the NPL. The agency will continue to prioritize expediting cleanups to protect people’s health and the environment.
For information about Superfund and the NPL:
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for NPL and proposed sites: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites
Connect with EPA Region 6:
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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central
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