News Releases from Region 05
EPA hits 13-year high in deleting Superfund sites including NIROP site in Fridley, Minn.
For Immediate Release: No. 18-OPA062
CHICAGO (October 10, 2018) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the agency deleted all or part of 22 sites from Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL), including the partial delisting of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP) site in Fridley, Minn. This is the largest number of deletions in one year since 2005 and a significant increase over the past few years.
“Under President Trump, EPA is deleting Superfund sites from the National Priorities List at the fastest pace in more than a decade,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This remarkable accomplishment is proof that cleaning up contaminated lands and returning them to safe and productive use is a top priority of the Trump EPA.”
"EPA is making good on its commitment to pick up the pace of Superfund cleanups so the sites can be restored to productive use," said EPA Regional Administrator Cathy Stepp. "Promoting redevelopment is part of EPA's core mission and helps spur the local economy in communities near Superfund sites."
EPA announced that part of the NIROP had been delisted on Sept. 27. The site is currently being reused for commercial purposes. The U.S. Navy began producing advanced weapons systems at the site in the 1940’s. Operators disposed of large quantities of solvents, petroleum, paints, solvents and other chemical in pits and trenches on the site. Sampling in the early 1980s showed groundwater, surface water and soil contamination. In 1983, the U.S. Navy, EPA and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency began to clean up the site under a Federal Facilities Agreement. In 2014, a portion of the NIROP site was delisted, where redevelopment is expected to be complete by this winter.
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill and strengthen the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. In May 2017, EPA launched the Superfund Task Force to provide recommendations for improving and expediting site cleanups and promoting redevelopment.
Site deletions have been a major focus of the Superfund Task Force. The Task Force reviewed existing policies and procedures related to deleting sites from the NPL and issued several recommendations. In addition, the Superfund program began providing the EPA administrator’s office with monthly updates on upcoming deletions. Through these and other actions, EPA deleted 18 sites and portions of four more sites in FY 2018, a significant increase over the three full or partial deletions in FY 2016.
Another significant Task Force achievement in FY 2018 was increasing the annual number of sites returned to communities for redevelopment. By redeveloping Superfund sites, communities are able to reuse thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land, often strengthening local economies. Many sites that EPA has designated as ready for reuse in previous years now host parks, business districts, renewable energy facilities, wildlife habitat, neighborhoods, and farms. In FY 2018, EPA committed to increase the number of NPL sites that achieved sitewide ready for anticipated use (SWRAU) by roughly 25 percent over the previous year. Through focused management attention and improved program practices, EPA achieved this goal: 51 sites reached SWRAU in FY 2018, the highest total since FY 2013.
The NPL includes the nation’s most serious hazardous waste sites. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. EPA deletes sites from the NPL when no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment.
One of EPA’s goals for the Superfund program is to return sites to communities for productive use. EPA encourages site reuse throughout the cleanup process, as appropriate, to maximize redevelopment opportunities. Superfund deletions can aid redevelopment efforts by offering a clear signal to developers and financial institutions that Superfund cleanup is complete.
In coming years, EPA will continue its focus on deleting sites through training and sharing information about the most effective approaches for moving sites to deletion.
EPA is scheduled to conclude implementing the Superfund Task Force recommendations in 2019.
For more information about the NIROP site: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/naval-industrial-reserve
For more information about EPA’s Superfund Task Force: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force
Additional information about EPA’s NPL deletions can be viewed at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/deleted-national-priorities-list-npl-sites-state
To search for information about the 22 NPL sites, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/search-superfund-sites-where-you-live