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EPA Proposes Adding the Donnelsville Contaminated Aquifer Site in Ohio to the Superfund National Priorities List

05/15/2018
Contact Information: 
Rachel Bassler (bassler.rachel@epa.gov)
312-886-7159

For Immediate Release: No. 18-OPA016

CHICAGO (May 15, 2018) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add the Donnelsville Contaminated Aquifer site in Donneslville, Ohio to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL).

“EPA is making tremendous progress accelerating sites through the entire Superfund remediation process and returning them to safe and productive reuse,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Adding these sites to the proposed and final National Priorities List is the next step toward cleaning up these sites and creating a healthier environment for the affected communities.”

“I’m strongly committed to working with states and local communities to identify, clean up and return Superfund sites to productive reuse,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Enabling responsible redevelopment of sites can transform underutilized sites that have long been considered eyesores or wastelands to become engines of revitalization.”

EPA and Ohio EPA sampling detected elevated levels of chlorinated solvents at the Donnelsville aquifer. Since 2011, drinking water treatment systems have been installed at approximately 25 residences at the site. The specific source or source(s) of trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) contamination in the groundwater could not be identified.

Academic research has shown that Superfund cleanups reduce birth defects within approximately 1 mile of a site as much as 25 percent. Cleanups also increase tax revenue and create jobs during and after cleanup. According to EPA data, 487 of the 888 Superfund sites cleaned up for reuse supported approximately 6,6000 businesses in 2017. And these businesses’ ongoing operations generate annual sales of $43.6 billion and employ more than 156,000 people who earned a combined income of $11.2 billion.

Background

Superfund, which Congress established in 1980, investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites. The Superfund law directs EPA to update the NPL annually. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup. Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country.

EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and the environment. EPA deletes sites from the NPL once all response actions are complete and all cleanup goals have been achieved. EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for the Agency’s help. The Agency may also find contamination during its own investigations.

The NPL is one focus area of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations that were announced in July 2017 to improve and revitalize the Superfund program.

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

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites

For information about Superfund and the NPL: http://www.epa.gov/superfund

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 Administrator Scott Pruitt established a task force to restore EPA's Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. Click here to learn more.