Ten New Sites Added To Superfund List
A Pennsylvania battery recycling plant, a South Carolina gold mine, and an Illinois zinc smelter are among 10 new sites just added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The sites were selected because of their degree of risk to human health and the environment.
The EPA also proposed that an additional seven sites be added to the list. Contaminants found include cadmium, tetrachloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, mercury, dioxins, zinc, lead and arsenic, among others.
The National Priority List is the list of the nation’s most polluted toxic waste sites that are a priority for cleanup. In order to receive federal Superfund dollars for long-term cleanup, sites must be included on this list.
The 10 final sites bring the total to 1,245 on the Superfund List. Altogether, there are 1,309 final and proposed sites on the list.
Sixty-four sites have been proposed and are awaiting final agency action: 58 in the general Superfund section and six in the federal facilities section.
Kevin Curtis, vice president of the National Environmental Trust, said there is no doubt these sites need remediation, but paying for those cleanups is not assured. “Today 10 communities join hundreds of others in an increasingly tough competition for scarce federal cleanup dollars,” Curtis said. “Unfortunately, the new Superfund listings only confirm how dangerous the sites really are, but offer no assurance that cleanup will happen.”
The EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for contamination at Superfund sites. Such parties agree, on average, to initiate or pay for 70 percent of cleanups, the agency said today.
When no parties can be located, EPA conducts in-depth inspections to determine the full extent of the contamination before starting major construction at the site. These inspections may take several years due to the nature of sampling and testing.
But Curtis says cleanups will not be properly funded until President George W. Bush replaces legislation his administration allowed to lapse that uses taxes to collect funds for Superfund remediation.
“Until President Bush supports reinstating the polluter-pays tax, the federal government’s most effective tool for cleaning up toxic sites will not have the funds to restore these new sites or the majority of those already listed,” said Curtis.
“This administration is the first since the creation of the Superfund program in 1980 to oppose extension of the polluter- pays tax,” Curis said. Not only is the President letting industry off the hook, but his most recent budget request contains $102 million less for Superfund than he had sought last year.”
The 10 New Superfund Sites:
* Hegeler Zinc, Danville, Illinois
* Sigmon’s Septic Tank Service, Statesville, North Carolina
* Crown Vantage Landfill, Alexandria Township, New Jersey
* Hopewell Precision Area Contamination, Hopewell Junction, New York
* Copley Square Plaza, Copley, Ohio
* Price Battery, Hamburg, Pennsylvania
* Safety Light Corporation, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania
* Brewer Gold Mine, Jefferson, South Carolina
* Smalley-Piper, Collierville, Tennessee
* Commerce Street Plume, Williston, Vermont
Provided by the Environmental News Service.