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Superfund

Superfund Human Exposure Dashboard

This dashboard provides the status of EPA’s site-wide Human Exposure environmental indicator for each Superfund National Priorities List and Superfund Alternative Approach site. Human Exposure is one of the metrics EPA uses to communicate its progress in cleaning up Superfund sites.

In order to improve public access to this information, EPA has developed this dashboard to provide each site’s Human Exposure status in a single location. Human Exposure status remains available on each Superfund site-profile web page.

The Superfund Task Force developed this dashboard as an outcome of the recommendations it presented to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on July 25, 2017.

On this page:


About the Human Exposure Environmental Indicator

EPA categorizes each National Priorities List (NPL) and Superfund Alternative Approach (SAA) site as follows:

Human Exposure Under Control describes sites where EPA assessments indicate there are currently no unacceptable human exposure pathways anywhere on site. This is generally because either the entire site has been cleaned up to levels that do not adversely affect public health, or controls have been implemented that prevent human exposure to contamination.

Human Exposure Not Under Control describes sites that have not had pathways to human exposure to contamination completely controlled, mitigated or eliminated. This category includes sites where response actions are under way but are not yet complete.

Specifically, these are sites where:

  • An unsafe level of contamination has been detected somewhere on site; and
  • Contamination has not yet been fully treated, stabilized or contained across the entire site to prevent current human exposure; and
  • Though there may not be any actual exposures occurring, there is potential for individuals to be exposed to the contamination somewhere within the site’s boundaries.

Even if these conditions exist at a very small portion of the site, or advisory signs are posted, EPA will classify the site as Human Exposure Not Under Control until all potential exposures are addressed.

EPA’s first priority is to ensure that effective measures are taken quickly to ensure people are not exposed to harmful contaminants. At many of these sites, substantial cleanup work has already been completed but some portion still poses potential risk. EPA categorizes these sites as Human Exposure Not Under Control until those portions are addressed.

EPA and other applicable federal agencies post warning signs, construct fences, and conduct outreach to communities to educate residents of the potential health risk.

Insufficient Data to Determine Human Exposure describes sites where EPA lacks enough information to determine whether people have the potential to be exposed to contamination. At these sites, EPA needs to investigate what contamination exists, where it is located, and how it could adversely affect public health. Typically, sites with insufficient data are those where EPA has not yet identified all potential exposure pathways, or those that are at the beginning of the assessment and cleanup process after being placed on the National Priorities List.

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National Overview

For final and deleted National Priorities List sites as well as Superfund Alternative Approach sites

 
Under Control Insufficient Data Not Under Control
     

Notes:
Pie chart data exclude where EPA is working to make a Human Exposure status determination.

Pie chart data exclude sites that are not in the Environmental Indicator baseline.

Data as of  .

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Site-Specific Status Reports

Filter table by:

Human exposure status

  • Toggle Select all / Unselect all
  • Apply filter for Under control
  • Apply filter for Not under control
  • Apply filter for Insufficient data
  • Apply filter for Not yet designated

Federal Facility status

  • Apply filter for Non-Federal
  • Apply filter for Federal

Region

  • Toggle Select all / Unselect all
  • Apply filter for Region 1
  • Apply filter for Region 2
  • Apply filter for Region 3
  • Apply filter for Region 4
  • Apply filter for Region 5
  • Apply filter for Region 6
  • Apply filter for Region 7
  • Apply filter for Region 8
  • Apply filter for Region 9
  • Apply filter for Region 10

Human Exposure Status Table

Site Name EPA ID Site ID Region City State Federal Facility Status NPL Status SAA Flag EI Baseline Human Exposure Status Human Exposure Status Description  
Site Name EPA ID Site ID Region City State Federal Facility Status NPL Status SAA Flag EI Baseline Human Exposure Status Human Exposure Status Description  

Data as of  .

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Questions and Answers

I live near one of the sites where human exposure is not under control. Am I being exposed to contamination?

Human Exposure Not Under Control describes Superfund sites that have not had pathways to human exposure to contamination completely controlled, mitigated or eliminated. Typically, these are sites where response actions are under way but not yet complete.

It isn’t necessarily the case at these sites that human exposure to contamination is actually occurring. These sites are designated Human Exposure Not Under Control because there is a possibility that people could be exposed to contamination somewhere within a site’s boundaries.

At many of these sites, substantial cleanup work has already been completed but some portion still poses potential risk. EPA categorizes these sites as Human Exposure Not Under Control until those portions are addressed.

EPA, states, tribes and potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are working to minimize the potential for human exposure at these sites. EPA and other government agencies post warning signs, construct fences, issue fish advisories, and conduct outreach to communities to educate residents of the potential health risk.

EPA makes every effort to clean up Superfund sites as quickly as possible so affected communities can put the legacy of contamination behind them and move on to revitalization. EPA will continue working with the utmost diligence until all communities living near Superfund sites have the protection they deserve.

For more information about a particular site, visit the Superfund site search page.

How would people come into contact with contamination at sites where human exposure is not under control?

EPA has provided details on how people can be exposed to contamination at each of these sites. To view this information, search for a site under Site-Specific Status Reports on this page, then click the link in the Human Exposure Status column to view information about why human exposure is not under control and what actions have been taken at the site.

Generally speaking, people can be exposed to contamination at Superfund sites via soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water (i.e., lakes, rivers and streams), vapor, air, and/or by consuming contaminated fish or shellfish. EPA’s Superfund website provides information on contaminated environmental media as well as site-specific information.

The ways in which people may come into contact with contamination vary depending on the site.

For example, a site will be categorized as “Human Exposure Not Under Control” if fish are contaminated at the site and EPA has witnessed that, despite warning signs and advisories, people continue to consume the fish.

Other examples include a river or former mining site that may be contaminated. Either could present long-term human health risks if a person consumes the water or ingests the soil.

I live near an uncontrolled area of one of these sites. What can I do to reduce or eliminate my exposure?

You can reduce or eliminate the potential for exposure to contamination at Superfund sites by:

  • Paying attention to warning signs and obeying them. Don’t trespass on fenced-off property.
  • Following fishing and swimming advisories at sites with surface water or sediment contamination. If signs are posted that say do not fish or swim, then don’t fish or swim. If you don’t see any signs, you can contact your state health department to see if you are fishing in bodies of water where fish advisories have been issued.
  • At sites with residential soil contamination:
    • Take shoes off at the door to avoid tracking dirt throughout the house.
    • Keep children from playing in bare dirt. Instead, have children play on grass or in areas covered with lead-free mulch, wood chips or sand.
    • Cover bare dirt with grass, bushes or 4 to 6 inches of lead-free wood chips, mulch, soil or sand.
    • Avoid planting root crops in contaminated soils or grow vegetables in raised beds or containers.
  • Use a water source that meets drinking water regulations for drinking, preparing food, cooking, brushing teeth and anything else that results in you drinking water.
  • Keep food safe: wash vegetables, plants and herbs before preparing.
  • Keep pets and livestock away from contaminated sites.
  • Do not collect gravel, sand or other materials from contaminated sites.

You can keep informed about Superfund National Priorities List and Superfund Alternative Approach sites via our site-specific web pages.

What is EPA doing to bring human exposure under control?

EPA, states, tribes, potentially responsible parties (PRPs), and other federal agencies are currently conducting cleanup activities, removal actions, or investigative work to bring human exposure under control at sites nationwide.

Once completed, this work, coupled with long-term remediation and monitoring, will control potential human exposures to unsafe levels of contamination. A site’s status will remain “Human Exposure Not Under Control” or “Insufficient Data” until the entire site meets the criteria to be designated Human Exposure Under Control.

If EPA finds contamination at a site that poses an imminent human health threat, it will use its removal authority to address it in an expedited manner.

For more information about what EPA is doing at a specific site, visit the Superfund site search page.

Why doesn’t EPA have human exposure under control at some of these sites?

At sites where human exposure is not under control, EPA has detected an unsafe level of contamination somewhere within the site’s boundaries, and a reasonable expectation exists that people could be exposed. This is true at these sites because:

  • Superfund involvement has only recently begun;
  • Cleanup work has not progressed to the point where all current human exposures have been controlled across the entire site; and/or
  • Some people may be ignoring health warnings, such as advisories to not eat fish in contaminated waterways, or they may be trespassing in areas where contamination is contained behind a fence.

It isn’t necessarily the case that human exposure is occurring at these sites. Instead, there is a possibility that people could be exposed to unsafe levels of contamination.

EPA and its partners are working to minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination at these sites. For example, EPA posts warning signs, communicates with local officials, and conducts outreach to communities to warn residents of the potential health risk.

For more information about what EPA is doing at a particular site, visit the Superfund site search page.

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