News Releases from Region 05
EPA Proposes Adding Minnesota Site to National Priorities List to Clean Up Contamination and Protect Communities
For Immediate Release No. 18-OPA100
CHICAGO (January 9, 2018) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to add a hazardous waste site in Spring Park, Minn., to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). EPA has proposed the Spring Park Municipal Well Field site due to the risk it poses to human health and the environment.
“Today’s action ensures the necessary resources are available for effective and safe revitalization of some of the most contaminated sites across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Superfund clean-up continues to be a priority at EPA as we work intently to create a safer and healthier environment for all communities affected.”
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a groundwater plume have contaminated two of Spring Park’s three municipal wells. The city and the state removed the immediate threat to the drinking water with a new, interim treatment system. The third well draws water from a deep aquifer but is not sustainable to supply Spring Park with enough water on a long-term basis. The Minnesota Department of Health first identified VOCs, primarily trichloroethylene (TCE) from the Spring Park Treatment Plant in 2004. In addition to TCE, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE) and vinyl chloride are also present.
Superfund, which Congress established in 1980, investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites and converts them into community resources. The Superfund law directs EPA to update the NPL annually. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup.
EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and the environment. EPA deletes sites from the NPL once all response actions are complete and all cleanup goals have been achieved. EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for the Agency’s help. The Agency may also find contamination during its own investigations.
Superfund addresses a variety of sites. While many Superfund sites were contaminated decades ago, at least six of the sites EPA is adding or proposing today were in operation within the last 15 years. These sites have contamination from a variety of sources, including manufacturing, electroplating and metal finishing.
Community partnerships are critical to Superfund site cleanups. EPA's goal is to work with community partners at every site by establishing and utilizing a process to explore future uses before the cleanup remedy is selected. This gives EPA the best chance of ensuring that sites are cleaned up in a manner that is consistent with a site’s anticipated future use.
The NPL is one focus area of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations that were announced in July 2017 to improve and revitalize the Superfund program.
The task force’s recommendations focused on five overarching goals: expediting cleanup and remediation, reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties, encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse, promoting redevelopment and community revitalization and engaging with partners and stakeholders.
The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites
For information about Superfund and the NPL: