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EPA Week in Review

11/01/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

Yet another busy week at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA kicked off the week by announcing that the agency deleted all or part of 27 sites from the Superfund's National Priorities List (NPL). This is the largest number of deletions in a single year since FY 2001. While EPA encourages site reuse throughout the cleanup process, deletions from the NPL can help revitalize communities and promote economic growth by signaling to potential developers and financial institutions that cleanup is complete. EPA followed this announcement by adding two sites and proposing to add five additional sites to the National Priorities List.

This week, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler also announced the seventh update to the Administrator's Emphasis List of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action. The list is comprised of sites identified by Administrator Wheeler and EPA regional offices that will benefit from the administrator’s immediate attention or action. Since the creation of the Administrator’s Emphasis List in 2017, 16 sites have been removed from the list after achieving critical milestones or solving other issues that were slowing the pace of cleanup. 

Food waste reduction was also in the EPA spotlight this week. Administrator Wheeler joined USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless in announcing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. This partnership formalizes the commitment of both the federal government and industry to work together towards the goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.

 

Superfund's National Priorities List Deletions

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, EPA deleted all or part of 27 sites from Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL). This represents the third year in a row that EPA has significantly increased the number of sites deleted from the NPL, helping communities move forward in reusing and redeveloping the land by making it clear that cleanup is complete.

“Our renewed focus on the Superfund program is reaching directly into the heart of communities that are looking to EPA for leadership and action,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I am proud of the work we have done to deliver on the Trump Administration’s commitment to protect the people we serve and support community revitalization by allowing land to be rediscovered and repurposed for productive use.” 

View the full list here.

Bar Chart of NPL Deletions by Fiscal Year
 

Superfund's National Priorities List Additions

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.

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.

This week, EPA announced the following sites will be added to the NPL:

  • Arsenic Mine in Kent, N.Y.
  • Schroud Property in Chicago, Ill.

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.
 
 

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler Releases the Seventh Update to the Administrator’s Superfund Emphasis List

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the seventh update to the Administrator’s Emphasis List of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action. 

Since the creation of the Administrator’s Emphasis List in 2017, 16 sites have been removed from the list after achieving critical milestones causing delays or solving other issues slowing the pace of cleanup. With this update, there are a total of 17 Superfund sites on the Administrator’s Emphasis List. This week's update includes:

  1. Removing the Universal Oil Products site in East Rutherford, New Jersey, from the Administrator’s Emphasis List because the milestone to select a remedy that addresses lagoon and wetland sediments at the site was achieved in August 2019. E
  2. Removing Arsenic Mine in the Town of Kent, New York, from the Administrator’s Emphasis List because the site milestone was achieved when the agency made a final determination to finalize the site on the NPL. 
  3. Adding the DePue (New Jersey Zinc) site in the Village of DePue, Illinois, to the Administrator’s Emphasis List to facilitate negotiations with the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs). 
  4. Adding the Carter Carburetor site in St. Louis, Missouri, to the Administrator’s Emphasis List to advance the site’s return to the community for productive use. 

                                                         Construction starts at the Centredale Superfund Site in North Providence, Rhode Island.

 

EPA, USDA, FDA Announce Partnership with Food Waste Reduction Alliance

FDA, USDA And EPA Team Up With Food Waste Reduction Alliance: "The organizations will work together to promote food waste education, outreach programs, research initiatives and other efforts... By partnering with the FWRA, the FDA, EPA and USDA will be able to work with the founding members of the organization, which include the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Food Marketing Institute and National Restaurant Association." (Forbes, 10/31/19).

Industry, government take aim at food waste in the supply chain with formal commitment: "This MOU and the work leading up to it marks an acknowledgement of the important role supply chains have to play in reducing food waste and increasing food recovery...The agreement is intended to get executives and industry leaders talking, encouraging collaboration to raise the level of awareness and action industry-wide among restaurants, grocers and food companies." (Supply Chain Dive, 10/30/19)

 
Link to YouTube video on Food Waste MOU
 

Highlights from EPA's Regional Offices

From EPA Region 5: Dayton Public Schools to receive federal funds for $1M investment: "'The Dayton Public School District is thankful for this partnership because of the health benefits it will bring to our students and to the entire Dayton community,' said Elizabeth Lolli, superintendent of DPS. District officials claim the project will reduce its annual emissions by nearly three tons per year. 'This grant helps to ensure that more children and everyone in the Dayton area will have better, healthier air to breathe and enjoy,' said Laurie Stevenson, director of the Ohio EPA." (Dayton Business Journal, 10/2919)

From EPA Region 8: EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant to help with Fremont County properties: "A three-year $600,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant awarded to Fremont County in 2018 has proven helpful in assessing abandoned, vacant, underutilized and contaminated properties for redevelopment and reuse, and there is still an opportunity for others to utilize the grant funding.The purpose of the grant is to transform underutilized properties from liabilities into assets that revitalize communities and bring neighborhoods back to life." (Canon City Daily Record, 10/31/19)

 

Tweets of the Week

Image of an Administrator Wheeler tweet on Food Waste MOU
 
Image of a tweet about air quality in Alaska