- EPA Updates Administrator’s Emphasis List
- EPA Issues Proposed Plan for U.S. Smelter and Lead in East Chicago, Indiana
- Environmental Response Team celebrates 40th anniversary
- EPA Posts Superfund Task Force Quarterly Accomplishments
- EPA Region 7 Finalizes Record of Decision Amendment for West Lake Landfill
- EPA Hits 13-Year High in Deleting Sites from the National Priorities List
- EPA Adds and Proposes New Sites to National Priorities List
On Nov. 20, 2018, EPA released its third revision to the Administrator’s Emphasis List of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action. EPA removed West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Missouri, from the list and added three sites — Universal Oil Products in East Rutherford, New Jersey; Allied Paper in Kalamazoo, Michigan; and Madison County Anschutz Mine in Fredericktown, Missouri.
With this update, there are 16 Superfund sites on the list. EPA has removed 11 sites from the list since its launch in December 2017 because the short-term milestones were achieved.
With this update and going forward, EPA is now considering sites for the list based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Sites where the Administrator’s attention may help to enhance human health and environmental protection, promote more timely resolution of issues, advance more effective cleanup, or promote redevelopment opportunities;
- Sites in diverse geographical areas and in various environmental settings;
- Sites that are addressing different contaminants;
- Both Fund and potentially responsible party lead sites; and
- Sites that are representative of other sites, which can provide lessons learned and best practices for similar sites.
On Nov. 12, 2018, EPA began a 60-day public comment period on a proposed cleanup plan for zone 1 of the U.S. Smelter and Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, Indiana.
EPA conducted a feasibility study to evaluate cleanup options based on the city of East Chicago’s stated intention to zone this parcel of land for residential use.
EPA’s proposal to clean up the site to residential standards involves removing more than 160,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil and seed or sod. Soil below 2 feet would remain undisturbed. EPA determined that digging deeper is not meaningfully more protective of residential users and does not justify the additional cost. Excavated soil would be disposed at an approved off-site landfill.
Digging restrictions and other controls would be instituted to protect future site users from unacceptable risks related to exposure to remaining contaminated soil. Because some contaminated soil would be left in place, EPA would conduct five-year reviews of the cleanup as required by the Superfund law.
This year marked the 40th anniversary of EPA’s Environmental Response Team’s (ERT) creation. Thanks to the hard work of its staff, ERT has been at the forefront of EPA’s efforts to protect human health and the environment.
Over the past 40 years, ERT has provided:
- Technical and logistical assistance in responding to environmental emergencies, such as oil or hazardous materials spills;
- Technical advice and field support for Superfund remedial actions, including technology selection and evaluation, feasibility studies, and treatment systems;
- Scientists, engineers and other staff to support emergency response actions, including unusual and complex incidents;
- Policy development, evaluation and implementation; and
- Training for on-scene coordinators and other emergency response staff through its Environmental Response Training Program.
The Superfund Task Force has posted its latest quarterly report, which provides accomplishments from August and September 2018. In this time period, EPA completed seven recommendations and integrated the associated deliverables into Superfund program processes and activities.
- Task Force Quarterly Report: Fourth Quarter FY 2018 (PDF) (23 pp, 334 K, About PDF)
- Status of Recommendations
On Sept. 27, 2018, acting Administrator Wheeler signed the record of decision (ROD) amendment for West Lake Landfill, an approximately 200-acre inactive solid waste disposal facility. This document amends the 2008 ROD and finalizes the Agency’s cleanup decision for Operable Unit 1 at the site, paving the way for the remedial design phase to begin.
The improvements made to the proposed plan—which was issued on Feb. 6, 2018—will reduce exposure to the community and cleanup workers, shorten construction time by a year, and allow flexibility to more efficiently remove contamination.
Once the design begins, it will take about a year and a half to complete. EPA will make every effort to reach an enforceable agreement with the potentially responsible parties to perform the cleanup work. EPA expects the remedy to take approximately three years to complete after construction begins and cost $205 million.
This site was on the initial Administrator’s Emphasis List. EPA took it off the list after publishing the ROD amendment.
- Press Release
- Record of Decision Amendment (PDF) (306 pp, 29.6 MB, About PDF)
- Fact Sheet (PDF) (14 pp, 5.1 MB, About PDF)
- West Lake Site Profile Page
- Signing Event Video Exit
In FY 2018, the Agency deleted all or part of 22 sites from the NPL, the largest number of deletions in one year since FY 2005 and a significant increase over the past few years.
Site deletions have been a major focus of the Superfund Task Force, which reviewed existing policies and procedures related to deleting sites from the NPL and issued several recommendations. In addition, the Superfund program began providing the EPA administrator’s office with monthly updates on upcoming deletions.
Through these and other actions, EPA deleted 18 sites and portions of four more sites in FY 2018, a significant increase over the three full and partial deletions in FY 2016.
Altogether, EPA has deleted 412 sites from the NPL and has made 90 partial deletions at 67 NPL sites (some sites have multiple partial deletions).
On Sept. 11, 2018, EPA announced the addition of five hazardous waste sites to the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List (NPL) and proposed to add another six sites to the NPL. These additions represent commitments from the Agency to advance Superfund cleanup to protect communities across the country.
The following sites are being added to the NPL:
- Rockwell International Wheel & Trim in Grenada, Mississippi;
- Southside Chattanooga Lead in Chattanooga, Tennessee;
- Broadway Street Corridor Groundwater Contamination in Anderson, Indiana;
- Donnelsville Contaminated Aquifer in Donnelsville, Ohio; and
- Delfasco Forge in Grand Prairie, Texas.
The following sites are being proposed for addition to the NPL:
- Magna Metals in Cortlandt Manor, New York;
- Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area in Minden, West Virginia;
- Cliff Drive Groundwater Contamination in Logansport, Indiana;
- McLouth Steel Corp in Trenton, Michigan;
- Sporlan Valve Plant #1 in Washington, Missouri; and
- Copper Bluff Mine in Hoopa, California.
For the first time, EPA is listing sites on the NPL based on subsurface intrusion, or intrusion of contaminants into occupied spaces. With this recent addition to EPA's system for assessing sites, EPA examined the threat of subsurface intrusion to support listing the Rockwell International Wheel & Trim and Delfasco Forge sites.