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Cleaning Up: EPA Deleting Superfund Sites at Near Record Pace

Posted on October 17, 2018 by Roger Marks

US EPA reported on October 10 that the Agency deleted a near record number of cleaned-up sites from its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Boasting the largest number of deletions in one year since 2005, EPA has been vocal that the Superfund program is a priority under the Trump administration.

EPA deleted eighteen sites completely and four in part from the NPL in Fiscal Year 2018.

The stories of these Superfund sites illustrate how a wide range of chemicals and activities affect the environment and subject businesses to liability under programs like CERCLA. Below we share the history of ten of the sites removed from the NPL so far in 2018.

Personnel who perform cleanup work at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, like Superfund sites, must complete HAZWOPER training. Lion offers 40 Hour HAZWOPER initial training as well as an 8 Hour HAZWOPER Refresher for general site workers. 


How Does a Site Become a Superfund Site?

To add a site to the National Priorities List, EPA follows a three-step process:
 
  1. Discovery
  2. Preliminary assessment and site inspection
  3. A proposal subject to public comments.

If any adverse comments received don’t change EPA’s mind, the Agency moves to officially add the site to the NPL by publishing a notice in the Federal Register.

Read more about these steps in Understanding Superfund Discovery and Remediation.

Want to know if there are any Superfund sites in your backyard?

Check out EPA’s searchable map of current National Priorities List sites here.


Superfund Sites Deleted from the NPL in FY 2018

EPA deleted the following Superfund sites from the National Priorities List in Fiscal Year 2018:

C & D Recycling, Foster Township, PA

This is a former metal reclamation plant where workers stripped and incinerated or burned telephone cables to extract lead and copper wire between the 1960s and 1980s. This site was cleaned up as early as the 2000s, but changes to EPA’s cleanup criteria revised the cleanup goals for dioxin in the soil. Additional cleanup was done in 2015, and EPA issued a Final Close Out Report (FCOR) in October 2016.
 

Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters, Sandy, UT

Located just southeast of Salt Lake City at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, two smelters were built in nineteenth century to process lead and silver ore from nearby mines. Despite both smelters being decommissioned in 1879, the site was added to the NPL in 2003. Parties worked throughout the 2000s to treat and remove more than 100,000 yards of contaminated soil. According to EPA, cleanup was finished in December 2011.
 

Davis Timber Company, Hattiesburg, MS

This site served as a wood-preserving facility in the 1970s and 80s and was placed on the NPL in 2000 due to contaminated groundwater, soil, and sediment. Starting in October 2011, personnel treated half a million gallons of liquid, relocated a creek, and excavated 2,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil. The cleaned-up site underwent its first successful five-year review in 2016.
 

Dorney Road Landfill, Upper Macungie Township, PA

In 1970, State inspectors visited a landfill that originally served as an open-pit iron mine and found that industrial sludge, batteries, and petroleum products were dumped there. Cleanup entailed disposal of 700,000 gallons of pond water and the construction of replacement wetlands. EPA is currently preparing to perform its five-year review of the site and has started the process for deleting it from the NPL.


Eureka Mills, Eureka, UT

Part of Utah’s historic Tintic Mining District, Eureka Mills was founded in 1870 and mined extensively for silver, lead, gold, and copper until 1958. The site was added to the NPL in 2002. Cleanup included actions at 700 residential and commercial properties. EPA determined no further action was required for groundwater, surface water, or ecological risk in 2011. EPA removed the site from the NPL in September 2018.
 

Frontier Hard Chrome, Inc., Vancouver, WA

A former chrome plating plant in operation from 1958 to 1983, this site discharged wastewaters containing hexavalent chromium, which contaminated the soil. EPA monitored the groundwater in the area until 2016 and put controls in place to prevent locals from drinking the contaminated water. In January 2018, EPA determined that no further CERCLA activity was needed and the site was deleted from the NPL on August 6, 2018.
 

Fulton Terminals, Fulton, NY

The owners of this fuel terminal site stored millions of gallons of waste, oils, and sludge in tanks, which contaminated the water, soil, and sediment with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A bulk of the cleanup work took place in the 1980s and 1990s, and EPA issued a preliminary close-out report in September 1999. While physical cleanup is now complete, EPA continues to monitor the groundwater. EPA will perform its next five-year review of this site in 2019.
 

Hathaway & Patterson, Mansfield and Foxborough, MA

At this 40-acre site, a company performed wood preservation work that contaminated the environment. In cleaning up the site, crews excavated 43,500 tons of contaminated soil and consolidated hazardous materials found on site under an asphalt cover. While cleanup finished in the fall of 2010, EPA continues to monitor the site to ensure the remedies in place—like the asphalt cover and groundwater monitoring wells—remain in good condition.

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Nutting Truck & Caster Co., Faribault, MN

Deleted from the NPL in November 2017, the facility on this site manufactured casters, wheels, hand trucks, and more for nearly a century, from 1891 to 1984. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the facility deposited waste, sludge, and waste solvents into a seepage pit,contaminating the soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The site was added to the NPL in 1983.

Old Esco Manufacturing, Greenville, TX

The most recently announced deletion on this list, the Old Esco Manufacturing site in Texas was officially removed from the NPL on October 10, 2018. The company manufactured electrical transformers and equipment between the late 1940s and 1970, which contaminated the site with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead. EPA led three successful Superfund removal actions, and the site is now tagged for future use as a park or open space.

Other sites removed in Fiscal Year 2018 include:

  • A municipal landfilled operated between 1920 and 1967 in Southington, CT
  • A 100-acre manufacturing and chemical production plant in Monogalia County, WV
  • A North Carolina facility where a fire and explosion destroyed the buildings and materials on the property in 1972
  • A silicon wafer manufacturing site where operations and spills lead to environmental contamination in Chester County, PA
  • A solvent recovery operation in Hope, ME that was shut down for violations after accepting large quantities of chemicals in preparation for a planned expansion that never happened
  • Two water stations in Vancouver, WA
  • An acidic waste oil sludge disposal site in Jacksonville, FL
 

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Need HAZWOPER training for emergency response? Find all of Lion’s HAZWOPER training options—40 Hour, 24 Hour, 8 Hour, and HAZWOPER awareness training, at Lion.com/HAZWOPER.
Stay tuned—more HAZWOPER training courses coming in 2019!