Recommendations to Streamline and Improve the Superfund Program
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Task Force released their report to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, providing 42 specific and detailed recommendations to streamline and improve the Superfund program. Administrator Pruitt also signed a directive to leaders across the Agency of 11 specific actions that should be implemented right away, with renewed focus, including identification, within 60 days, of the sites where the risk of human exposure is not fully controlled.
“There is nothing more core to the Agency’s mission than revitalizing contaminated land,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I commend the team effort of the career and political staff on the Task Force, working together to develop recommendations that are detailed, but also workable – to ensure that we can expedite the protection of human health and the environment around these properties and accelerate the reuse. I look forward to leading this team toward full implementation of these recommendations.”
“Being on this Task Force was a great opportunity to identify legitimate impediments that prevent expeditious cleanup of Superfund Sites and working to address those issues,” said Karen Melvin, EPA Region 3 Director, Hazardous Site Cleanup Division.
Established by Congress in 1980, the Superfund Program governs the investigation and cleanup of the nation’s most complex hazardous waste sites in order to convert those sites into community resources. The National Priorities List (NPL) came into existence in 1983. It includes those sites that are of national priority among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States. Each year, sites are listed and delisted based on criteria in EPA’s regulations. As of June 21, 2017, there are 1,336 sites on the NPL, of which 1,179 are privately owned sites and 157 are federal facilities. Sites on the NPL are in various stages of completion and much work still remains. The recommendations of the Superfund Task Force, when implemented, will improve and expedite the process of site remediation and promote reuse.
The Superfund Task Force, chaired by Albert Kelly, senior advisor to the administrator, was commissioned on May 22, 2017, and includes leaders from EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Office of General Counsel, EPA Region 3 (as the lead region for the Superfund program), as well as other offices.
The 42 Superfund Task Force recommendations are organized into five goals:
- Expediting Cleanup and Remediation;
- Re-invigorating Responsible Party Cleanup and Reuse;
- Encouraging Private Investment;
- Promoting Redevelopment and Community Revitalization; and
- Engaging Partners and Stakeholders
Each goal in the Task Force report is accompanied by a set of strategies that include specific actions which are planned to commence within twelve months.
A copy of the directive that the Administrator signed today of the 11 specific actions that leaders across the Agency should implement immediately can be found: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/administrator-pruitts-memo-regarding-receipt-superfund-task-force-report-and-next-steps
To view the complete set of Superfund Task Force recommendations, please visit https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations
For more information about the Superfund program, please visit https://www.epa.gov/superfund.
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