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Superfund

Superfund Remedial Annual Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016 Superfund Remedial Program Accomplishments Report

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What is Superfund?

Congress created the Superfund program in 1980 to protect human health and the environment by responding to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants. Superfund cleanups have been shown to reduce the incidence of birth defects by as much as 25 percent for those living within approximately a mile of a site. Cleanups of lead-contaminated soil have contributed to documented reductions in children’s blood-lead levels across the country.

In addition, Superfund cleanups often spur development, recreational and ecological projects. These projects can facilitate job creation, increase property values, and enhance local tax bases. Independent research found that residential property values within three miles of Superfund sites increased 19 to 25 percent when sites are cleaned up and deleted from Superfund’s National Priorities List.

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Highlights

  • EPA placed 15 sites on the National Priorities List (NPL), including the Bonita Peak Mining District. Gold King Mine is one of 48 mining-related areas within this district. EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens public health and the environment. Adding a site to the NPL is the most effective and comprehensive approach for investigating and cleaning up contamination. At the end of FY 2016, the NPL had 53 proposed sites and 1,729 final and deleted sites. See:
  • During FY 2016, at non-federal Superfund sites, EPA:
    • Started 703 investigations;
    • Made 24 remedy decisions and updated 12 decisions;
    • Initiated 44 remedial construction projects;
    • Completed 105 remedial construction projects;
    • Completed all construction work at 13 sites;
    • Has 1,337 sites in long-term response;
    • Deleted two sites and a portion of one site from the National Priorities List, bringing the total of deleted sites to 392.
       
  • The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative ensures EPA and its partners have the tools to return Superfund sites to productive use. Information EPA has collected at 458 of the 850 sites in reuse indicate these sites supported approximately 4,700 businesses in 2016. These businesses’ ongoing operations generate annual sales of $34 billion and employ more than 131,000 people who earned a combined income of $9.2 billion. In 2016, Superfund identified 41 additional sites as having all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place to meet Superfund’s Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure, bringing the cumulative total to 793. See:
  • EPA actions at 12 sites controlled potential or actual exposure risk to humans, bringing Superfund’s cumulative total to 1,452 sites, which represents 82 percent of all final and deleted sites. 
     
  • EPA controlled the migration of contaminated groundwater through engineered remedies or natural processes at 17 sites, bringing Superfund’s cumulative total to 1,155 sites. 
  • EPA completed or provided oversight at 226 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities. EPA also completed 105 remedial action projects.
  • On Feb. 3, 2016, EPA proposed a rulemaking that would add a screening mechanism to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) to evaluate sites with subsurface intrusion contamination for placement on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the rulemaking on December 7, 2016, and the rule was published in the Federal Register on January 9, 2017.

    The HRS is the principal mechanism EPA uses to place uncontrolled waste sites on the NPL. It is a numerically based screening system that uses information from initial investigations to assess the relative potential of sites to pose a threat to human health or the environment.

    The most common form of subsurface intrusion is vapor intrusion, which occurs when there is a migration of vapor-forming chemicals from the subsurface into an overlying building. In extreme cases, the vapors may accumulate in dwellings or occupied buildings to levels that may pose   near-term safety hazards from explosion or acute health effects.

    A 2010 Government Accountability Office report concluded that if these sites are not assessed and listed on the NPL as needed, there is potential that contaminated sites with unacceptable human exposure will not be acted upon. See:
  • EPA disbursed or obligated more than $332 million in FY 2016 from Superfund special accounts for site-specific work. The Agency's goal in establishing and using special accounts is to ensure potentially responsible parties (PRPs) pay for cleanup at Superfund sites. This conserves annually appropriated resources from the Superfund Trust Fund for sites where there are no liable or viable PRPs. As of the end of FY 2016, more than $3.6 billion has been used for Superfund cleanups from special accounts. See:
  • In FY 2016, EPA obtained approximately $1 billion in commitments from potentially responsible parties to clean up Superfund sites. EPA billed potentially responsible parties approximately $91.8 million in oversight costs associated with cleanup work at sites in FY 2016, the third highest amount of oversight ever billed in the program’s history. See:
  • Several active and former Superfund sites are now home to alternative energy facilities. As of September 2016, alternative energy facilities are located at 45 Superfund sites, providing an installed capacity of just over 260 megawatts. Nearly two-thirds of the installations are solar powered, while half of the installations have an installed capacity of 1 megawatt or more.
     
  • The Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) is a job-readiness program that provides training and employment opportunities for people living in communities affected by Superfund sites. EPA’s goal is to help these communities develop job opportunities that remain long after a Superfund site has been cleaned up. In 2016, EPA conducted two SuperJTI projects — one for the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp., site in Columbus, Mississippi, and another for the North Ridge Estates site in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Thirty-four trainees completed the program and are ready to go to work. See:

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Superfund Annual Accomplishment Metrics

EPA uses two types of response authorities to address polluted sites under Superfund: removal and remedial. Superfund responds to chemical releases and other urgent situations under its emergency response and time-critical removal authorities. Superfund’s remedial program conducts long-term cleanups of contaminated sites, and in many cases, returns them to beneficial use.

Sites EPA remediates under Superfund fall under either the National Priorities List (NPL) or the Superfund Alternative Agreement (SAA) program.

The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. It is intended to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation and/or cleanup. Sites posing an unacceptable level of risk to human health or the environment are remediated.

The SAA is an alternative to listing a site on the NPL. SAA sites have the same investigation and cleanup standards as NPL sites, but are led and funded by a cooperative and capable potentially responsible party under an enforceable agreement with EPA. It can save time and resources compared to listing a site on the NPL.

EPA’s Superfund program tracks the following measures on an annual basis to keep the public and internal and external stakeholders apprised of the program’s progress in cleaning up sites. See:

Protecting communities' health and ecosystems*

* Includes both National Priorities List and Superfund Alternative Agreement sites.

  • EPA actions at 12 sites controlled potential or actual exposure risk to public health, bringing the cumulative total to 1,452 sites. 
     
  • Controlled the migration of contaminated groundwater through engineered remedies or natural processes at 17 sites, bringing the cumulative total to 1,155 sites. See:

Obligating funds for construction and post-construction activities

A capped siteFunding new construction projects at EPA and PRP-lead projects

Cleaning up hazardous waste sites

  • Construction completion is a site-wide measure that documents the completion of physical construction of all cleanup actions, including actions to address all immediate threats and to bring all long-term threats under control. All physical construction of the cleanup remedy was completed at 11 National Priorities List sites and two Superfund Alternative Approach sites.

    EPA has now completed construction of all remedies at 1,188 National Priorities List sites. See:
  • Completed 105 remedial action projects. Remedial action is how the Superfund program implements solutions to the environmental problems at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. There can be multiple remedial actions to be performed at each site. All of these actions must be performed in order for a site to be deemed to have completed construction. See:
  • Through Superfund’s optimization program, teams of independent technical experts identify opportunities to improve the effectiveness and cost efficiency of Superfund remedies. In FY 2016, Superfund supported 31 optimization projects at 31 sites. See:

Safeguarding communities from imminent threats

Preparing for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 703 remedial site assessments, for a cumulative total of 94,593. Remedial assessments are performed to help determine if cleanup may be needed under a Superfund-managed or -monitored program. The 703 assessments resulted in the following outcomes:
    • 433, or 62 percent, required no further work under Superfund;
    • 238, or 34 percent, need further assessment; and
    • 32, or 4 percent, were referred to a cleanup program.

Collectively, remedial site assessments completed in FY 2016 at sites in the Superfund active site inventory were within approximately one mile of:

Ensuring long-term protection

  • Conducted 241 five-year reviews, including 35 reviews at federal facility sites, to ensure site remedies remain protective. Five-year reviews generally are required when hazardous substances remain on site above levels that permit unrestricted use and unlimited exposure. Five-year reviews provide an opportunity to evaluate the implementation and performance of a remedy to determine whether it adequately protects human health and the environment. See:
  • EPA may delete a final National Priorities List site if it determines that no further response is required to protect human health or the environment. In FY 2016, EPA deleted two sites and a portion of one site from the NPL. See:

Remaining committed to "polluter pays" principle

  • In FY 2016, EPA obtained approximately $1 billion in commitments from potentially responsible parties to clean up Superfund sites, and EPA billed potentially responsible parties approximately $91.8 million in oversight costs associated with cleanup work at sites in FY 2016, the third highest amount of oversight ever billed in the program’s history.
     
  • Additionally, potentially responsible parties agreed to reimburse $55.3 million of EPA’s past costs from cleanup work at Superfund sites. The amounts EPA recovered are either placed in site-specific special accounts for future cleanup work or deposited into the general Superfund Trust Fund to be used for sites where viable, liable parties either do not exist or lack the funds or capabilities needed to conduct the cleanup. See:

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Program Accomplishments

  • On Feb. 3, 2016, EPA proposed a rulemaking that would add a screening mechanism to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) to evaluate sites with subsurface intrusion contamination for placement on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the rulemaking on December 7, 2016, and the rule was published in the Federal Register on January 9, 2017. 

    The HRS is the principal mechanism EPA uses to place uncontrolled waste sites on the NPL. It is a numerically based screening system that uses information from initial investigations to assess the relative potential of sites to pose a threat to human health or the environment.

    The most common form of subsurface intrusion is vapor intrusion, which occurs when there is a migration of vapor-forming chemicals from the subsurface into an overlying building. In extreme cases, the vapors may accumulate in dwellings or occupied buildings to levels that may pose near-term safety hazards from explosion or acute health effects.

    A 2010 Government Accountability Office report concluded that if these sites are not assessed and listed on the NPL as needed, there is potential that contaminated sites with unacceptable human exposure will not be acted upon. See:
  • Since October 2015, EPA has been treating discharge from the Gold King Mine at the Interim Water Treatment Plant at Gladstone, Colorado. The plant is designed to manage up to 1,200 gallons per minute of mine discharge. The plant treats the discharge by removing solids and metals.On Aug. 5, 2015, EPA was conducting an investigation at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. During excavation, pressurized water began leaking above the mine tunnel, sending approximately three million gallons of water into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River. In response, EPA took a number of actions in FY 2016, including:
     
    • EPA added the Bonita Peak Mining District to the Superfund National Priorities List. Gold King Mine is one of 48 mining-related areas within the district. EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens public health and the environment. Adding a site to the National Priorities List is the most effective and comprehensive approach for investigating and cleaning up contamination. See:
    • As an added precaution when working at abandoned mines, EPA headquarters developed a consultation process between headquarters and EPA regional offices for removal and remedial activities at hardrock mining and mineral-processing sites with fluid hazards. The memo outlining the process shares the Agency’s expectations for work performed at these sites. See:
    • EPA has developed the draft “Planning for Response Actions at Abandoned Mines with Underground Workings: Best Practices for Preventing Sudden, Uncontrolled Fluid Mining Waste Releases” reference document, which is currently undergoing external peer review. EPA will revise the draft document to incorporate appropriate peer review comments and anticipates finalizing in spring 2017.
       
    • EPA developed an “Interim Checklist for Preventing Sudden, Uncontrolled Mining Waste Releases Prior to Conducting Response Actions at Mine Sites” to guide site teams when working at mine sites.
       
    • EPA released a report titled One Year After the Gold King Mine Incident: A Retrospective of EPA’s Efforts to Restore and Protect Impacted Communities (PDF)(23 pp, 4.4 MB, About PDF). The report provides an overview of EPA’s response to the incident and describes watershed conditions before and after.
       
    • EPA awarded more than $1.2 million to reimburse states, tribes and local governments for their response costs associated with the release. These funds include costs incurred for various activities, including field evaluations, water quality sampling, laboratory analyses, and personnel. See:
  • Participated in Agency-wide efforts to support EPA’s Making a Visible Difference in Communities by targeting Superfund work for environmentally overburdened, underserved and economically distressed areas. One such example is at the 35th Avenue site, where EPA is addressing lead, arsenic and benzopyrene in soil. The site is in a mixed industrial and residential area of Birmingham, Alabama. To date, EPA has sampled over 1,100 of the approximately 2,000 residential properties within the site’s study area, and has begun cleanup at more than 160 properties. Learn more about all the efforts EPA undertook at this site. See:
  • Workers at the USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago, Indiana, collect soil samples from yards.EPA undertook extensive sampling and cleanup of lead-contaminated soil and indoor dust at the USS Lead site in East Chicago, Indiana. The site is divided into three zones:
     
    • From August through the first week of November, at the West Calumet Housing Complex (zone 1), EPA officials:
      • Surveyed homes to get access agreements to conduct indoor sampling;
      • Sampled around 270 homes to determine indoor lead levels; and
      • Temporarily relocated about 270 households to hotels and cleaned their homes.
         
    • In the zone 2 section of the Calumet neighborhood, EPA has sampled soil from 476 of 596 properties. EPA also excavated, backfilled and restored 17 properties during November 2016.
       
    • The zone 3 portion of Calumet contains 468 properties.
      • EPA received access agreements and sampled soil at 418 of them. After sampling, EPA notified the property owners of their results.
      • Soil in some of the sampled Zone 3 properties contains high levels of lead and arsenic. In October, EPA workers began cleanup of the 38 most contaminated properties under an agreement with the potentially responsible parties. EPA has completed excavation and replacement with clean fill and topsoil at these properties.
      • About 200 additional properties will be cleaned in spring 2017.
      • EPA also conducted indoor dust sampling, primarily at the properties identified with the most contaminated soil. Some of the sampled homes had lead and arsenic levels above safe levels. EPA began cleaning these homes in November to remove contaminated dust. EPA officials will continue to offer the same service to other zone 3 homes that have tainted dust. See:
  • The Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) is a job-readiness program that provides training and employment opportunities for people living in communities affected by Superfund sites. EPA’s goal is to help these communities develop job opportunities that remain long after a Superfund site has been cleaned up. In 2016, EPA conducted two SuperJTI projects — one for the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. site in Columbus, Mississippi, and another for the North Ridge Estates site in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Thirty-four trainees completed the program and are ready to go to work. See:

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Superfund Redevelopment Initiative Accomplishments

The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative ensures EPA and its partners have the tools to return Superfund sites to productive use. See:

Data EPA has collected at 458 of the 850 sites in reuse indicate these sites supported approximately 4,700 businesses in 2016. These businesses’ ongoing operations generate annual sales of $34 billion and employ more than 131,000 people who earned a combined income of $9.2 billion.

In 2016, Superfund identified 41 additional sites as having all long-term protections in place to meet Superfund’s Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use measure, bringing the cumulative total to 793. The cleanup remedies for these sites are constructed and working properly and the sites have all the necessary institutional controls in place. Institutional controls are administrative and legal instruments that help minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination and protect the integrity of the remedy. See:

Superfund cleanups also allow for ecological and recreational reuse. At the end of FY 2016, 145 sites supported recreational uses, 127 sites support ecological uses, and 49 sites support both recreational and ecological uses.

In 2016, EPA began six new reuse projects under the Initiative and continued support on another five ongoing reuse projects.

Other noteworthy program accomplishments:

  • As of September 2016, alternative energy facilities are located at 45 Superfund sites, providing an installed capacity of just over 260 megawatts. Nearly two-thirds of the installations are solar powered, while half of the installations have an installed capacity of 1 megawatt or more.
     
  • A pilot study of 11 federal facility Superfund sites in reuse identified a total of 628 businesses that generated $5.5 billion in annual sales. The businesses provided 40,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual employment income. The properties, which are worth $2 billion, generate $9.5 million in total annual property tax.
     
  • EPA developed the State Excellence in Supporting Reuse award in 2014 to recognize state partners whose work has led to lasting benefits that enhance community quality-of-life and ensure the long-term protectiveness of site remedies. See:

The 2016 awardees are:

These former and present Superfund sites are now thriving:

  • EPA added the Gowanus Canal site in Brooklyn, New York, to the National Priorities List in 2010. In 2013, EPA finalized its plan to clean up contaminated sediment. The neighborhood surrounding the canal is already reaping benefits. In 2015, investments in real estate increased 32 percent, median rent increased 13 percent, and multifamily price-per-square foot increased 15 percent. New restaurants, boutique hotels and retail are opening in the neighborhood, including a Whole Foods Market, which opened in 2013. See:
  • In 2001, Kokomo, Indiana, used SRI pilot grant funds to evaluate reuse options for the Continental Steel Corp. site. This process generated the idea of a recreational facility. When remedy construction was nearing completion, the city unveiled the plan for a 60-acre recreational soccer facility. The Indiana Office of Tourism Development awarded the Kokomo-Howard County Convention and Visitors Bureau with a $50,000 grant to build a facility with concession stands, restrooms and storage for maintenance equipment. Construction plans include 30 full-size playing fields, a walking trail and vehicle parking. The first youth soccer match was held at the site in October 2015. See:
  • The Martin-Marietta, Sodyeco, Inc. site in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been transformed into the state’s first eco-industrial park. SRI supported the drafting of the site deletion notice, after which site developers were able to secure redevelopment resources and credits. The project is home to a biomass combined heat-and-power project, an algae-to-fuel pilot plant, a fuels and lubricants distributor, a wood-recycling facility, a composite walls contractor, and a composting operation. In 2016, the project team also implemented its environmental landscape plan, which included low-maintenance native grasses, wildlife plantings, energy crop demonstration stands and pollinator habitats. Reduced maintenance requirements provide an estimated $100,000 in annual cost savings, while significantly improving the site’s wildlife habitat. See:
  • SRI pilot grant funding from 2002 supported the realization of a community reuse vision at the Wyckoff Co./Eagle Harbor site in Bainbridge Island, Washington. A 2016 case study highlights the collaboration that resulted in the site’s cleanup and revitalization. This created a vibrant, unique waterfront park that includes a memorial recognizing the internment of local Japanese-American residents during World War II. The story of the site’s cleanup and redevelopment illustrates how community leadership, partnerships and coordination of remedy and reuse considerations can restore valuable community assets. See:
  • The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) supported EPA Region 6 on a ready-for-reuse determination for the Eagle-Picher Henryetta site in Henryetta, Oklahoma, in 2015. The municipality requested the determination to secure financing for a rural health clinic on the property. With the signed determination in hand, the East Central Oklahoma Family Center applied for a Health and Human Services grant. In May 2016, the Center won a $1 million grant to construct a building at the site. The new facility will provide primary, dental and behavioral healthcare services. See:
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi, won a $25,000 grant from the PetSafe Bark For Your Park program to build a dog park at the Davis Timber Company site. The grand opening took place on Feb. 6, 2016. The next phase of the park’s buildout will focus on adding an agility section, landscaping, shade sails, benches and other amenities. “From day one, the park has been a huge hit,” said Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits. See:
  • The Tucson International Airport Area site in Arizona is home to the Tucson Airport Remediation Project, which treats groundwater. In 2014, Tucson Water implemented an advanced oxidation process to remove 1,4-dioxane and other contaminants. The treatment system produces up to approximately 6.3 million gallons of drinking water per day that is added back to Tucson’s municipal water supply. In 2016, Tucson Water was recognized as a Utility of the Future Today, an award program supported by EPA, Water Environment Federation and other organizations in an effort “to form and motivate a community of like-minded, self-identified water utilities engaged in advancing resource efficiency and recovery, developing proactive relationships with stakeholders, and establishing resilient, sustainable, and livable communities.” See:
  • Restoration of two buildings provided about 12,000 square feet for redevelopment at the Kearsarge Metallurgical Corp. site in Conway, New Hampshire. Today, three businesses operate at the site – a towing company, a heating business, and a repair facility for farm equipment and diesel trucks. Site businesses employ about eight people, providing estimated annual employment income of nearly $327,000. The area also includes restored forested wetlands that provide ecological habitat along the northern bank of Pequawket Pond. See:
  • In June 2016, the Edison-Metuchen Community Dog Park officially opened to the public on the Chemical Insecticide Corp. site in Edison, New Jersey. See:
  • Cooperation between EPA, the state of Minnesota, redevelopers and potentially responsible parties has been instrumental in the cleanup and reuse of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant and FMC Corp. (Fridley Plant) sites. In July 2016, developers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Northern Stacks Industrial Park. Upon completion, the park will support commercial and industrial uses. Current site businesses employ 628 people and provide annual income of over $47 million. In 2016, site properties generated over $1.1 million in tax revenues and have an estimated property value of nearly $44 million. See:
  • In June 2016, Ameresco completed construction of a 67-acre, 18-megawatt, ground-mounted solar project at the Fort Detrick Area B Ground Water site in Fort Detrick, Maryland. This is a pilot installation for the Army’s Net Zero Energy initiative. Under this strategy, the Army aims to generate as much energy as it consumes by reducing energy usage and implementing renewable energy. Fort Detrick aims to produce as much energy as it consumes by 2020. See:

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Fiscal Year 2015 Superfund Accomplishments Report

  • Prelude to FY 2015 Annual Accomplishment

    The Superfund program's primary objective is to respond to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances and pollutants or contaminants to protect human health and the environment. Investments in Superfund cleanups have been shown to reduce the incidence of congenital abnormalities in infants by as much as 25 percent for those living within approximately a mile of a site. Cleanups involving lead-contaminated soil have contributed to documented reduced blood-lead levels in children.

    Cleaning up contaminated sites also results in positive economic and social impacts for many communities. Superfund cleanups help convert vacant and underutilized land into productive resources; reduce blight, uncertainty, and other negative perceptions; and improve the aesthetics and general well-being in communities surrounding the sites. Superfund site cleanups also bring economic benefits to communities by facilitating job creation, increased property values and enhanced local tax bases. Independent research has documented the positive effect of cleanups: an analysis found that residential property values within 3 miles of Superfund sites increased 18.6-24.5 percent when sites were cleaned up and deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL).

    EPA has collected data at 454 of the 850 sites in reuse. The data indicate that in 2015 these sites supported approximately 3,900 businesses with ongoing operations generating annual sales of $29 billion and employing more than 108,000 people, who earn a combined income of $7.8 billion.

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Protecting communities' health and ecosystems

  • Increased the total number of National Priorities List (NPL) and Superfund Alternative Agreement (SAA) sites where EPA actions controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans by 10, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,439 sites where exposure is under control. 
  • Increased the total number of NPL and SAA sites where EPA actions controlled the migration of contaminated groundwater through engineered remedies or natural processes by 15, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,138 sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control. 

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Preparing land for productive use

  • Ensured 45 NPL and SAA sites had all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated use to 752.  
  • Data EPA has collected at 454 of the 850 sites in reuse indicate these sites support approximately 3,900 businesses in 2015. These businesses’ ongoing operations generate annual sales of $29 billion and employ more than 108,000 people, who earned a combined income of $7.8 billion.

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Obligating funds for construction and post-construction activities

  • Obligated approximately $443 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party (PRP) settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.

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Funding new construction projects

  • Started 59 new remedial construction projects, including 33 government-led projects and 26 PRP-led  projects, and continued to conduct or provide oversight at more than 380 remedial construction projects started in prior fiscal years. EPA was unable to fund new construction work at three NPL sites in FY2015. 

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Cleaning up hazardous waste sites

  • Completed all physical construction of the cleanup remedy at 14 sites across the country, including one SAA site.  As of the end of FY2015, 1,177 construction completions (CCs) have been achieved at NPL sites, and 5 CCs have been achieved at SAA sites.  
  • Completed 104 remedial action projects. These construction projects are the essential building blocks to achieving overall site cleanup; their completion demonstrates progress in reducing site risks to human health and the environment.
  • The Superfund program maintains an effort to continuously improve the efficiency and protectiveness of remedies selected to clean up sites. Through its optimization program, beginning in the late 1990s, teams of independent technical experts, at any phase of a site’s cleanup process, identify opportunities to improve remedy protectiveness, effectiveness and cost efficiency. Superfund conducts remedy optimization reviews of cleanup systems and characterization approaches in place or being considered. In FY 2015, Superfund supported 30 optimization projects at 30 sites (20 of which were initiated in 2015).

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Safeguarding communities from imminent threats

  • Completed or provided oversight at 278 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

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Preparing for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 869 remedial site assessments, for a cumulative total of 93,901 remedial assessments.
  • Placed 8 sites on the NPL, and proposed 13 sites to the NPL. At the end of FY2015, the NPL had 53 proposed sites and 1,714 final and deleted sites. EPA may delete a final NPL site if it determines no further response is required to protect a community’s health or environment. 
  • Selected 24 cleanup remedies and amended 12 cleanup plans.
  • Obligated approximately $208 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and PRP settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

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Ensuring long-term protection

  • Conducted 271 five-year reviews, including 32 reviews at federal facility sites, to ensure site remedies remain protective.
  • Deleted 6 sites from the NPL, and at 2 other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

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Remaining committed to "polluter pays" principle

  • EPA obtained approximately $2 billion in commitments from responsible parties to clean up Superfund sites, the fourth highest site cleanup spending commitment amount during a fiscal year. EPA billed PRPs approximately $106.4 million in oversight costs associated with cleanup work at sites, the highest amount of oversight ever billed in the program’s history.
  • Additionally, responsible parties agreed to reimburse $512.2 million of EPA’s past costs from cleanup work at Superfund sites, the highest cost recovery total since the Superfund program’s inception. The amounts EPA recovered are either placed in site-specific special accounts for future cleanup work or deposited into the Superfund general Trust Fund to be used for sites where viable, liable parties either do not exist or lack the funds or capabilities needed to conduct the cleanup. 
  • A $1.9 billion settlement addressing fraudulent conveyance claims against Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Kerr McGee associated with the Tronox bankruptcy proceedings resulted in the largest bankruptcy-related award that EPA has received for environmental claims and liabilities. The award accounts for more than 70 percent of all cleanup and cost recovery dollars committed by responsible parties in FY 2015.

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Unfunded new construction projects

Fiscal Year 2014 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

  • Prelude to FY 2014 Annual Accomplishments

    The Superfund program's primary objective is the protection of human health and the environment, but cleaning up contaminated sites also results in positive economic and social impacts for many communities. By eliminating or reducing real and perceived health and environmental risks associated with hazardous waste sites, Superfund cleanups help convert vacant and underutilized land into productive resources; reduce blight, uncertainty, and other negative perceptions; and improve the aesthetics and general well-being in communities surrounding the sites. Superfund site cleanups also bring economic benefits to communities by facilitating job creation, increased property values and enhanced local tax bases. Independent research has borne out the positive effect of cleanups: a peer-reviewed study found that residential property values within 3 miles of Superfund sites increased 18.6-24.5 percent when sites were cleaned up and deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL).

    As of the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, data EPA has collected at 450 of the 850 sites in reuse indicate these sites support approximately 3,470 businesses with ongoing operations generating annual sales exceeding $31 billion and employing more than 89,000 people, who are earning a combined income of $6.0 billion.

    EPA began reporting economic data related to Superfund redevelopment in 2011 in various documents and on the Internet (https://wcms.epa.gov/superfund-redevelopment-initiative/redevelopment-economics). However, the FY 2014 Accomplishments Summary is the first to contain economic data associated with reuse; the agency will include this information in future annual accomplishment summaries.

    *Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti and Christopher Timmins. 2013. "Does cleanup of hazardous waste sites raise housing values? Evidence of spatially localized benefits," ExitJournal of Environmental Economics and Management 65(3): 345-360,

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Protecting communities' health and ecosystems

  • Increased the total number of National Priorities List (NPL) and Superfund Alternative Agreement (SAA) sites where EPA actions controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans by nine, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,429 sites where exposure is under control.
  • Increased the total number of NPL and SAA sites where EPA actions controlled the migration of contaminated groundwater through engineered remedies or natural processes by 11, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,123 sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control.

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Preparing land for productive reuse and contributing to local economies

  • Ensured 45 NPL and SAA sites had all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated use to 707.
  • Data EPA has collected at 450 of the 850 sites in reuse indicate these sites support approximately 3,470 businesses. These businesses’ ongoing operations generate annual sales exceeding $31 billion and employ more than 89,000 people, who are earning a combined income of $6.0 billion.

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Obligating funds to perform construction and post-construction activities

  • Obligated approximately $367 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions and potentially responsible party (PRP) settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.

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Funding new construction projects

  • Started 66 new remedial construction projects, including 38 government-funded projects and 28 PRP-funded projects, and continued to conduct or provide oversight at more than 413 remedial construction projects started in prior fiscal years. EPA was unable to proceed with new construction work at five NPL sites with projects ready to start construction in FY2014.

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Cleaning up hazardous waste sites

  • Completed all physical construction of the cleanup remedy at eight sites across the country for a total of 1,164 sites, or approximately 68 percent of NPL sites.
  • Completed 115 remedial action projects. These projects are the essential building blocks to achieving overall site cleanup; their completion demonstrates progress in reducing site risks to human health and the environment.

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Safeguarding communities from imminent threats

  • Completed or provided oversight at 304 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

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Preparing for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 794 remedial site assessments, for a cumulative total of 93,076 remedial assessments completed since the program’s inception in 1980.
  • Placed 21 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 16 sites to the NPL. The NPL had, at the end of FY2014, 49 proposed sites and 1,706 final and deleted sites. EPA may delete a final NPL site if it determines that no further response is required to protect a community’s health or environment.
  • Selected 24 cleanup remedies and amended 12 cleanup plans.
  • Obligated more than $225 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and PRP settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

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Ensuring long-term protection

  • Conducted 244 five-year reviews, including 42 reviews at federal facility sites, to ensure site remedies remain protective.
  • Deleted 14 sites from the NPL, and at 4 other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

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Remaining committed to "polluter pays" principle

  • EPA obtained more than $453.7 million commitments from responsible parties to clean up superfund sites and billed private parties for approximately $89 million in oversight costs. Additionally, responsible parties agreed to reimburse $57.7 million of EPA’s past costs from cleanup work at superfund sites.

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Unfunded new construction projects

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Disclaimer: These accomplishments represent a "snapshot in time" (as of 9/30/14) and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates and corrections.

Fiscal Year 2013 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

  • Prelude to FY 2013 Annual Accomplishments

    The Superfund program is advancing EPA’s “Meeting the Challenge Ahead” themes championed by former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Superfund cleanups Make a Visible Difference in Communities across the Country by protecting the human health and environments of thousands of U.S. communities affected by uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Through our Superfund Redevelopment Initiative, we contribute to the economic vitality of those communities through job creation and the return of sites to productive use. With contaminated groundwater and sediment cleanups occurring at a majority of sites, Superfund is Protecting Water: A Precious, Limited Resource. Close coordination with state, tribal and local governments on cleanup activities, including the determination of site-specific future land use, is an ongoing hallmark of the Superfund program in keeping with the Launching [of] a New Era of State, Tribal and Local Partnerships. We will continue Taking Action on Toxics and Chemical Safety by applying the best available science when determining site-specific risk-based cleanup levels. We are Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality and Working toward a Sustainable Future through implementation of the Superfund Climate Change Adaption Action Plan and by encouraging the consideration of the ASTM International’s Standard Guide for Greener CleanupsExit as well as through continued implementation of the Superfund Green Remediation Strategy. Finally, we are Embracing EPA as a High Performing Organization by adopting the Superfund Program Review’s recommended actions, which seek to minimize the adverse consequences of recent budget cuts by identifying and implementing program efficiencies.

On this page:


Protecting communities' health and ecosystems

  • Increased the total number of sites where EPA actions controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans by 13, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,389 National Priorities List (NPL) sites where exposure is under control.
  • Increased the total number of sites where EPA actions controlled the migration of contaminated groundwater through engineered remedies or natural processes by 18, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,091 NPL sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control.

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Obligating funds to perform construction and post-construction activities

  • Obligated more than $333 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions and potentially responsible party (PRP) settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.

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Safeguarding communities from imminent threats posed by hazardous substances

  • Completed or provided oversight at 304 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

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Funding new construction projects

  • Started 58 new remedial construction projects, including 16 EPA-funded projects and 42 PRP funded projects, and continued to conduct or provide oversight at more than 400 remedial construction projects started in prior fiscal years. EPA was unable to proceed with new construction work at 22 NPL sites with projects ready to start construction in FY2013.

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Cleaning up hazardous waste sites

  • Completed all physical construction of the cleanup remedy at 14 sites across the country for a total of 1,156 sites, or approximately 69 percent of NPL sites.
  • Completed 122 remedial action projects. These projects are the essential building blocks to achieving overall site cleanup; their completion demonstrates progress in reducing risks to human health and the environment at sites.

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Preparing land for productive reuse and contributing to local economies

  • Ensured 56 NPL sites had all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated use to 662 (470,000 acres).
  • Provided job training at two superfund sites through EPA’s Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI), an environmental remediation job readiness program providing job training to citizens living in communities affected by superfund sites. SuperJTI graduates have the technical skills to work on a broad range of projects in environmental remediation and construction as well as the cleanup of superfund sites. EPA’s goal is to help communities develop job opportunities and partnerships, which remain long after a superfund site is cleaned up.

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Preparing for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 772 remedial site assessments, for a cumulative total of 92,282 remedial assessments completed since the program’s inception in 1980. Placed nine new sites on the NPL, and proposed nine sites to the NPL. The NPL had, at the end of FY2013, 54 proposed sites and 1,685 final and deleted sites; EPA may delete a final NPL site if it determines that no further response is required to protect a community’s health or environment.
  • Selected 61 cleanup remedies, amended 14 cleanup plans, and issued 36 explanations of significant differences.
  • Obligated more than $210 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and PRP settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

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Ensuring long-term protection

  • Conducted 233 five-year reviews, including 30 reviews at federal facility sites, to ensure site remedies remain protective.
  • Deleted 11 sites from the NPL, and at two other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL

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Remaining committed to "polluter pays" principle

  • Secured private party commitments of nearly $1.6 billion in FY2013 to fund cleanup work. Of this amount, EPA obtained commitments from responsible parties to invest an estimated $1.2 billion in superfund site studies and cleanups; responsible parties agreed to reimburse the Agency for more than $292 million spent cleaning up superfund sites; and EPA billed private parties for approximately $93 million in oversight costs.

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Unfunded New Construction Projects

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Disclaimer: These accomplishments represent a "snapshot in time" (as of 9/30/13) and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates and corrections.

Fiscal Year 2012 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

On this page:


Protecting communities' health and ecosystems

  • Increased the total number of sites where EPA actions controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans by 13, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,361 National Priorities List (NPL) sites where exposure is under control.
  • Increased the total number of sites where EPA actions controlled the migration of contaminated ground water through engineered remedies or natural processes by 18, bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,069 NPL sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control.

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Obligating funds to perform construction and post-construction activities

  • Obligated nearly $389 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party (PRP) settlement resources for conducting on-the-ground work to clean up contaminated sites.
  • Obligated more than $240 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions and PRP settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

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Safeguarding communities from imminent threats posed by hazardous substances

  • Completed or provided oversight at 428 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

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Funding new construction projects

  • EPA's superfund remedial program started 46 new remedial construction projects, including 12 EPA funded projects and 34 PRP-funded projects. At the same time, EPA continued to conduct or provide oversight at more than 400 remedial construction projects started in prior fiscal years. EPA was unable to proceed with new construction work at 21 NPL sites which had projects that were ready to start construction in FY2012. (NOTE: these totals do not include actions taken by other federal agencies.)

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Cleaning up hazardous waste sites

  • Completed all physical construction of the cleanup remedy at 22 sites across the country for a total of 1,142 sites, or approximately 68 percent of the sites on the NPL.
  • Completed 142 remedial action projects. These projects are the essential building blocks to achieving overall site cleanup; their completion demonstrates incremental progress in reducing risks to human health and the environment at sites.

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Preparing land for productive reuse and contributing to local economies

  • Ensured 66 NPL sites had all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated use to 606 (151,000 acres). In addition, EPA determined that nearly 1.3 million acres of land had all long-term protections in place to protect people from the effects of site-related contamination.
  • Created jobs. At the superfund cleanup of the Hudson River in New York, dredging created approximately 500 jobs while creating additional economic benefits for the area.
  • Provided job training at four superfund sites through EPA’s Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI), an environmental remediation job readiness program that provides job training to citizens living in communities affected by Superfund sites. SuperJTI graduates have the technical skills to work on a broad range of projects in environmental remediation and construction as well as the cleanup of Superfund sites. EPA’s goal is to help communities develop job opportunities and partnerships, which remain long after a Superfund site is cleaned up.

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Preparing for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 1,151 remedial site assessments, for a cumulative total of 91,067 remedial assessments completed since the program’s inception in 1980. Placed 24 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 18 sites to the NPL. The NPL had, at the end of FY2012, 54 proposed sites and 1,676 final and deleted sites; EPA may delete a final NPL site if it determines that no further response is required to protect human health or the environment.

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Ensuring long-term protection

  • Conducted 230 five-year reviews, including 39 reviews at Federal facility sites. EPA conducts these reviews to ensure that remedies remain protective at NPL sites.
  • Deleted 11 sites from the NPL and at 2 other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

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Remaining committed to "polluter pays" principle

  • Secured private party commitments of nearly $900 million in FY2012 to fund cleanup work. Of this amount, EPA obtained commitments from responsible parties to invest an estimated $657 million for site study and clean up of Superfund sites; responsible parties agreed to reimburse the Agency for more than $172 million spent cleaning up Superfund sites; and EPA billed private parties for approximately $67 million in oversight costs.

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Unfunded new construction projects

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Disclaimer: These accomplishments represent a "snapshot in time" (as of 9/30/12) and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates and corrections

Fiscal Year 2011 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

On this page:


Protecting communities' health and ecosystems

  • Increased by 10 the total number of sites where EPA actions have controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans, meeting the annual target of 10 and bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,348 National Priorities List (NPL) sites where exposure is under control.
  • Increased by 21 the total number of sites where EPA actions have controlled the migration of contaminated ground water through engineered remedies or natural processes, exceeding the target of 15 for the year and bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,051 NPL sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control.

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Obligating funds to perform construction and post-construction activities

  • EPA obligated nearly $535 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct or oversee new and ongoing construction and post-construction projects.

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Safeguarding communities from imminent threats posed by hazardous substances

  • EPA completed 405 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

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Funding new construction projects

  • In FY2011, EPA's superfund remedial program started 70 new construction projects. The 70 projects include 25 fund financed projects and 45 PRP financed projects. At the same time, the program continued over 500 projects initiated in earlier fiscal years. EPA was unable to proceed with new construction work at four projects which were ready to initiate construction in FY2011.

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Cleaning up hazardous waste sites

  • Completed all physical construction to cleanup 22 sites across the country for a total of 1,120 sites, or approximately 68 percent of the sites on the NPL. The 22 sites that achieved the construction completion milestone in FY2011 included five sites that received funds from the Recovery Act and two sites that featured pilot projects to accelerate cleanup under the Integrated Cleanup Initiative (ICI).
  • Completed 132 remedial action projects, exceeding the target of 103 completions in the first year of this new program measure. This measure is intended to show incremental progress at sites in order to augment reporting on the site-wide construction completion measure.

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Preparing land for productive reuse and contributing to local economies

  • EPA ensured 65 NPL sites had all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated use to 540. In addition, at the end of FY2011, EPA had determined that over 1.4 million acres of land are protective for people and more than 468,000 acres are ready for anticipated use.
  • EPA’s Superfund Job Training Initiative (SuperJTI) is an environmental remediation job readiness program that provides free job training to citizens living in communities affected by superfund sites. EPA’s goal is to help communities develop job opportunities and partnerships that remain long after a superfund site is cleaned up. Over the past two years, the SuperJTI program has trained 128 people for job placement at Superfund sites.

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Preparing for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 1,020 remedial site assessments, for a cumulative total of 89,916 remedial assessments completed since the program’s inception. Placed 25 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 35 sites to the NPL. The NPL had, at the end of FY2011, 62 proposed sites and 1,652 final and deleted sites.
  • Selected 92 cleanup remedies at 72 sites; amended 22 cleanup plans; and issued 43 explanations of significant differences at 42 sites.
  • Obligated more than $288 million in appropriated and Recovery Act funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

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Ensuring long-term protection

  • Conducted 210 five-year reviews, including 34 reviews at federal facility sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that remedies remain protective at NPL sites.
  • Deleted 7 sites from the NPL and at 3 other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

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Remaining committed to "polluter pays" principle

  • EPA secured private party commitments of more than $3.3 billion in FY2011 to fund cleanup work. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct more than $3 billion in future response work (the highest annual amount in the history of the program), and to reimburse EPA for $298.6 million in past costs. EPA billed private parties $74 million for oversight costs.

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Fiscal Year 2010 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

Protecting human health and the environment remains superfund’s top priority

  • Increased by 18 the total number of sites where EPA actions have controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans, exceeding the annual target of 10 and bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,338 National Priorities List (NPL) sites where exposure is under control.
  • Increased by 18 the total number of sites where EPA actions have controlled the migration of contaminated ground water through engineered remedies or natural processes, exceeding the target of 15 for the year and bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,030 NPL sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control.

Superfund prepares land for return to productive use

  • EPA ensured 66 NPL sites had all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated use to 475. In addition, at the end of FY2010, EPA had determined that nearly 1.3 million acres of land are protective for people and more than 455,800 acres are ready for anticipated use.

EPA's Superfund program obligated nearly $443 million to perform construction and post-construction activities

  • EPA obligated nearly $443 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.

Superfund addresses imminent threats posed by hazardous substances and oil releases

  • EPA conducted 391 removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

EPA funded new construction

  • EPA obligated $106 million for 18 new construction projects at 17 NPL sites; these represent all of the projects ready to proceed with new construction in FY2010.

Superfund has completed construction at more than 1,000 sites

  • Completed all construction phases of cleanup at 18 sites across the country for a total of 1,098 or approximately 67.5 percent of the sites on the NPL. The 18 sites that achieved the construction completion milestone in FY2010 included three that received funds from the Recovery Act, as well as the largest naval base in the country (Norfolk Naval Base).

The Superfund remedial program prepared for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 365 final assessment decisions, for a cumulative total of 40,884 out of 44,595 sites.
  • Placed 20 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 8 sites to the NPL. The NPL had, at the end of FY 2010, 61 proposed sites and 1,627 final and deleted sites.
  • Obligated more than $288 million in appropriated and Recovery Act funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.
  • Selected 92 cleanup remedies at 60 sites; amended 24 cleanup plans at 24 sites; and issued 59 explanations of significant differences at 53 sites.

Superfund ensures the long-term protection of human health and the environment after construction is complete

  • Conducted 261 five-year reviews, including 30 reviews at federal facility sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that remedies remain protective at NPL sites.
  • Deleted seven sites from the NPL and at five other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

Superfund remains committed to the "polluter pays" principle

  • EPA secured private party commitments of nearly $1.6 billion in FY2010 to fund cleanup work. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct $1.4 billion in future response work, and to reimburse EPA for $154 million in past costs. EPA billed private parties $82 million for oversight costs.

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, and corrections.

Fiscal Year 2009 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

  • Prelude to FY 2009 Annual Accomplishments

    Superfund continues to make progress in its cleanup program that is summarized below. The challenges, though, have evolved since the Superfund program began in the 1980s. Communities are not only focused on getting sites cleaned up, but also want to have an active role in putting sites back to productive use. In addition, large complex sites demand a larger portion of EPA’s Superfund resources today than was the case in the earlier years of the program. In order to address these challenges, EPA in 2010 launched the Integrated Cleanup Initiative. This Initiative represents a commitment to improve program performance and provide communities with the accountability and transparency they have demanded for years in the cleanup of contaminated sites. As a first step, EPA has developed a new publicly reported performance measure, an increase in completion of Superfund remedial action projects. This new measure will provide greater accountability and transparency of the detailed actions necessary to bring site cleanups to completion and ultimately reuse. EPA will be working closely with the states, tribal nations, local communities and other stakeholders as we move forward with the Integrated Cleanup Initiative.

Protecting human health and the environment remains superfund’s top priority

  • Increased by 11 the total number of sites where EPA actions have controlled a potential or actual exposure risk to humans, exceeding the annual target of 10 and bringing the program’s cumulative total to 1,320 National Priorities List (NPL) sites where exposure is under control.
  • Increased by 16 the total number of sites where EPA actions have controlled the migration of contaminated ground water through engineered remedies or natural processes, exceeding the target of 15 for the year and bringing the program’s cumulative total to 1,012 NPL sites where contaminated groundwater migration is under control.

Superfund prepares land for return to productive use

  • EPA ensured 66 NPL sites have all long-term protections, including institutional controls, in place necessary for anticipated use, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated reuse to 409. In addition, at the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, EPA had determined that more than 1.25 million acres of land are protective for people and over 450,000 acres are ready for anticipated use.

EPA funded new construction

  • EPA’s superfund program obligated more than $1.1 billion:
    • Nearly $965 million in appropriated and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources were directed toward construction and post-construction projects. Of these funds, EPA obligated $247 million for 26 new construction projects at 26 NPL sites; these represent all of the projects ready to proceed with new construction in FY2009.
    • More than $139 million were used to conduct more than 368 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

Superfund is working on hundreds of construction projects

  • Completed all construction projects at 20 sites across the country for a cumulative total of 1,080 NPL sites with cleanup construction completed or approximately 67 percent of the sites on the NPL. At the end of FY2009, 316 other sites had construction activity underway.

The Superfund remedial program prepared for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 400 final assessment decisions, for a cumulative total of 40,558 out of 44,359 sites.
  • Placed 20 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 23 sites to the NPL. The NPL had, at the end of FY2009, 66 proposed sites and 1,607 final and deleted sites.
  • Obligated more than $288 million in appropriated and Recovery Act funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.
  • Selected 101 cleanup remedies at 72 sites; amended 23 cleanup plans at 23 sites; and issued 52 explanations of significant differences at 48 sites. 

Superfund ensures the long-term protection of human health and the environment after construction is complete

  • Conducted 231 five-year reviews, including 38 reviews at federal facility sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that remedies remain protective at NPL sites.
  • Deleted eight sites from the NPL and at three other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

Superfund remains committed to the "polluter pays" principle

  • EPA secured private party commitments of nearly $2.4 billion in FY2009 to fund cleanup work. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct $1.99 billion in future response work, and to reimburse EPA for $371 million in past costs. EPA billed private parties $79 million for oversight costs.

Superfund faces constraints

  • Under a mature superfund program, sites with large, complex, and costly cleanups tend to dominate construction funding allocations.  In FY2009, nearly 52 percent of superfund obligations for construction and post-construction activities went to 12 sites out of 185 sites receiving non-Recovery Act obligations for such activities.

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, and corrections.

Fiscal Year 2008 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

Protecting human health and the environment remains superfund's top priority

  • Controlled all identified unacceptable human exposures at a net total of 24 sites, exceeding the annual target of 10 and bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,306 sites under control.
  • Controlled the migration of contaminated ground water through engineered remedies or natural processes at a net total of 20 sites, exceeding the target of 15 for the year and bringing the program's cumulative total to 997 sites under control.

Superfund prepares land for return to productive use

  • EPA ensured 85 sites have all long-term protections in place necessary for anticipated reuse, bringing the cumulative total of sites ready for anticipated reuse to 343.

EPA's superfund program obligated nearly $599 million to perform construction and post-construction activities and to conduct and oversee emergency response actions

  • Obligated nearly $462 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.
  • Obligated nearly $137 million to conduct more than 372 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

EPA funded new construction

  • Obligated more than $55 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for 16 new construction projects ranked by the National Risk-Based Priority Panel at 15 National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

Superfund is working on hundreds of construction projects

  • Conducted or oversaw 681 ongoing construction projects (by EPA, potentially responsible parties, and federal facilities) at 423 sites.
  • Completed construction phase of cleanup at 30 sites across the country for a total of 1,060 or approximately 67 percent of the sites on the NPL.

The Superfund remedial program prepared for future cleanup efforts

  • Completed 415 final assessment decisions, for a cumulative total of 40,187.
  • Listed 18 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 17 sites to the NPL.
  • Obligated more than $218 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.
  • Selected 97 cleanup plans at 73 sites; amended 8 cleanup plans; and issued 42 explanations of significant differences at 39 sites.

Superfund ensures the protection of human health and the environment after construction is complete

  • Conducted 221 five-year reviews, including 26 reviews at federal facility sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that protective measures for waste that has been secured on-site remain intact.
  • Deleted nine sites from the NPL and at 3 other sites, deleted a portion of the site from the NPL.

Superfund remains committed to the "polluter pays" principle

  • EPA secured private party commitments of nearly $1.9 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to fund cleanup work. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct $1.575 billion in future response work, and to reimburse EPA for $232 million in past costs. EPA billed private parties $75.5 million for oversight costs.

Superfund faces constraints

  • In FY2008, nearly 57 percent of superfund obligations for construction and post-construction activities went to 17 sites.
  • Due to funding needs for ongoing construction work, all new projects ready for construction funding were not funded. EPA funded 16 new construction projects and 10 new projects were not funded.

Sites Receiving or Not Receiving FY 2008 New Construction Funding

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, and corrections.

Fiscal Year 2007 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

Protecting human health and the environment remains Superfund's top priority:

  • Controlled all identified unacceptable human exposures at a net total of 13 additional sites, exceeding the annual target of 10 and bringing the program's cumulative total to 1,282 sites under control.
  • Controlled the migration of contaminated groundwater through engineered remedies of natural processes at a net total of 19 additional sites, exceeding the target of 10 for the year and bringing the program's cumulative total to 977 sites under control.

EPA's superfund program obligated $520.7 million to perform construction and post-construction activities and to conduct and oversee emergency response actions:

  • Obligated more than $380 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.
  • Obligated $140.7 million to conduct 351 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

EPA funded new construction:

  • Obligated more than $82 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for 19 new construction projects ranked by the National Risk-Based Priority Panel at 19 National Priorities List (NPL) sites. This represents all new construction projects that were ready for funding in FY2007.

Superfund is working on hundreds of construction projects:

  • Conducted or oversaw 631 ongoing construction projects (by EPA, potentially responsible parties, and federal facilities) at 409 sites.
  • Completed construction phase of cleanup at 24 sites across the country for a total of 1,030 or 66 percent of the sites on the NPL.
    • Site assessments and investigations
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans
    • Support for State, Tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

The superfund remedial program prepared for future cleanup efforts:

  • Listed 12 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 17 sites to the NPL.
  • Completed 395 Final Assessment Decisions, for a cumulative total of 39,766.
  • Obligated more than $199 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations;
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans; and
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.
  • Selected final cleanup plans at 26 sites. These additional plans bring the cumulative total of sites with final cleanup plans to approximately 75 percent of 1,569 NPL sites.

Superfund ensures the protection of human health and the environment after construction is complete:

  • Conducted 203 Five-Year Reviews, including 34 reviews at 32 federal facilities sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that protective measures for waste that has been secured on-site remain intact.
  • Deleted 7 sites, including 1 federal facility, and partially deleted 3 sites from the NPL.

Superfund committed to the "polluter pays" principle:

  • EPA secured private party funding commitments of more than $1 billion in FY2007. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct more than $688 million in future response work, and to reimburse EPA for $252 million in past costs. EPA billed private parties $62 million for oversight costs.

Superfund faces constraints:

  • In FY2007, nearly 44 percent of Superfund obligations for construction and post-construction activities went to 11 sites.

Sites Receiving FY 2007 New Construction Funding

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, corrections and changes to report select logic.

Fiscal Year 2006 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

EPA's superfund program obligated $530.9 million to perform construction and post-construction activities and to conduct and oversee emergency response actions.
  • Obligated $390 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.
  • Obligated $140.9 million to conduct or provide oversight for 294 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

EPA funded new construction

  • Obligated nearly $45 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for 18 new construction projects ranked by the National Risk-Based Priority Panel at 16 National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

Superfund is working on hundreds of construction projects

  • Conducted or oversaw 653 ongoing construction projects (by EPA, potentially responsible parties, and Federal facilities) at 414 sites. Federal facilities accounted for 216 of these ongoing projects.
  • Completed construction phase of cleanup at 40 sites across the country for a total of 1,006 or 64 percent of the sites on the NPL.

The Superfund remedial program prepared for future cleanup efforts

  • Listed 11 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 10 sites for the NPL.
  • Completed 518 Final Assessment Decisions, for a cumulative total of 39,288.
  • Obligated nearly $219 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.

Superfund ensures the protection of human health and the environment after construction is complete

  • Conducted 184 Five-Year Reviews, including 26 Reviews at federal facilities sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that remedies remain protective of human health and the environment.
  • Deleted 7 sites and partially deleted 3 sites from the NPL, including one federal facility site.

Superfund is committed to an enforcement first policy

  • EPA secured private party funding commitments of more than $550 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2006. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct $391 million in future response work, and reimburse EPA for $164 million in past costs.

Superfund faces constraints

  • In FY2006, 45 percent of superfund obligations for construction and post-construction activities went to 14 sites.
  • Due to funding needs for ongoing construction work, all new projects ready for construction funding were not funded. EPA funded 18 new construction projects and 6 new projects were not funded.

Sites Receiving or Not Receiving FY 2006 New Construction Funding

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, corrections and changes to report select logic.

Fiscal Year 2005 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

EPA's Superfund Program obligated $524 million to perform construction and post-construction activities and to conduct and oversee emergency response actions.

  • Obligated $404 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for construction and post-construction projects.
  • Obligated $120 million to conduct more than 400 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

EPA funded new construction

  • Obligated nearly $70 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources for 17 new construction projects ranked by the National Risk-Based Priority Panel at 15 National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

Superfund is working on hundreds of construction projects

  • Conducted or oversaw 665 ongoing construction projects (by EPA, potentially responsible parties, and federal facilities) at 422 sites. Federal facilities accounted for 220 of these ongoing projects.
  • Completed construction phase of cleanup at 40 sites across the country for a total of 966 or 62 percent of the sites on the NPL.

The Superfund remedial program prepared for future cleanup efforts

  • Listed 18 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 12 sites for the NPL.
  • Obligated more than $214 million in appropriated funds, state cost-share contributions, and potentially responsible party settlement resources to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.
  • Selected final cleanup plans at 39 sites, including five federal facilities sites. This brings the cumulative total of sites with final cleanup plans to approximately 67 percent of 1547 NPL sites.

Superfund ensures the protection of human health and the environment after construction is complete

  • Conducted 247 Five-Year Reviews, including 27 reviews at federal facilities sites. These reviews are conducted to ensure that protective measures for waste that has been secured on-site remain intact.
  • Deleted 18 sites, including one federal facility, and partially deleted five sites from the NPL.

Superfund actively promotes community involvement

  • In 2005, EPA participated on 131 active Restoration Advisory Boards (RABs) and Site Specific Advisory Boards (SSABs) at Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Energy facilities (DOE), respectively, on the NPL. RABs and SSABs provide a forum for concerned stakeholders and community members to provide input on DoD's and DOE's environmental activities at individual facilities.
  • Underscoring EPA's commitment to the "polluter pays" principle, the Agency secured private party funding commitments of more than $1.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2005. Of this amount, potentially responsible parties agreed to conduct more than $857 million in future response work, and to reimburse EPA for $248 million in past costs.

Superfund faces constraints

  • In Fiscal Year 2005, 50 percent of superfund obligations for construction and post-construction activities went to 11 sites.
  • Due to EPA's priority to fund ongoing work, less funding was available for new construction projects, and EPA did not have enough resources to fund 9 new construction projects evaluated by the National Priority Panel and that were ready for construction.

Sites Receiving or Not Receiving FY 2005 New Construction Funding

1 Cost data are from CERCLIS as of 10/17/2005

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, corrections and changes to report select logic.

Fiscal Year 2004 Superfund National Accomplishments Summary

The superfund program spent $507 million to perform construction and post-construction activities and to conduct and oversee emergency response actions.1

  • $367 million for construction and post-construction projects.
  • $140 million to conduct 385 emergency response and removal actions to address immediate and substantial threats to communities.

EPA funded new construction:

  • EPA obligated $104 million of appropriated funds, state cost share, and Potentially Responsible Party settlement resources for 27 new construction projects.

Superfund accomplishments include:

  • EPA secured $680 million in cleanup commitments and cost recoveries from the parties responsible for toxic waste sites.
  • Conducted 678 long-term ongoing cleanup projects at 428 sites (includes EPA lead sites, Potentially Responsible Party lead sites, and federal facility sites)
  • Completed work at 40 sites across the country for a total of 926 or 61 percent of the NPL

The superfund program prepared for future cleanup efforts:

  • Listed 11 new sites on the NPL, and proposed 26 sites for listing.
  • The superfund program spent $228 million to conduct and oversee:
    • Site assessments and investigations
    • Selection and design of cleanup plans
    • Support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities.
  • Selected final cleanup plans at 30 sites. This brings the cumulative total of sites with final cleanup plans to approximately 66 percent of the 1,529 NPL sites.

Constraints on the Superfund Program

  • As the Superfund program matures, the size, complexity and cost of sites that are currently under or ready to begin construction continues to grow. In Fiscal Year 2004, over 52 percent of the superfund obligations for long-term, on-going cleanup work were committed to just nine sites.
  • Because of these challenges, 19 sites that were ready for construction were not funded.

In Fiscal Year 2004, the Superfund program used its resources to address cleanup priorities that protect human health and the environment.2 The program leveraged additional resources to assist with its funding needs.

  • Through management of superfund contract spending, $77 million was deobligated and used for long-term construction, site investigations, remedy selection, emergency removals and other activities.
  • $130 million from Potentially Responsible Party settlements ($109 million) and state cost share ($21 million) were used for construction and post-construction work.

FY 2004 New Construction Fact Sheets

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, corrections and changes to report select logic.

1 All financial data is from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Information System (CERCLIS), as of November 5, 2004.
2 Activities were conducted through both the Superfund remedial and removal programs, with resources taken from Congressional appropriations, deobligations, private party settlements, and State cost shares.

Disclaimer: These data represent a "snapshot in time" and future numbers may change based on data quality reviews, updates, corrections and changes to report select logic.