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EPA Adds A Vermont Hazardous Waste Site to Superfund’s National Priorities List

Release Date: 09/17/2014
Contact Information: Emily Zimmerman, (617) 918-1037

(09/17/14) BOSTON – EPA will add a Bennington, Vt. hazardous waste site to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. The Superfund program, a federal program established by Congress in 1980, investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and converts them into productive local resources by eliminating or reducing health risks and environmental contamination associated with hazardous waste sites.

The Jard Company Site, located in Bennington, Vt, formerally operated as a capacitor manufacturer in Benningto, Vt. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), used in the manufacturing process, were released into the former building structure and soils on the property which contaminated area groundwater. EPA has already removed some contaminated soil from the site, but 2013 Site investigations have indicated that groundwater is contaminated with PCBs, and is potentially migrating west of the site property.

“EPA continues to protect public health and the environment in communities plagued by old industrial facilities that have left a contaminated footprint behind,” said EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding. “EPA will continue to develop a comprehensive study of contamination at the site, and we will make sure community members are involved in cleanup decisions for the site.”

"I could not be more pleased with EPA's decision to add the JARD site to the list of sites given a priority for federal cleanup dollars," said Vermont Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears. He continued, "Vermont and Bennington will benefit significantly in terms of reduced health and environmental risks and also from returning this property to positive economic use once it is cleaned up."

Recent academic research, from the study Superfund Cleanups and Infant Health, demonstrated that investment in Superfund cleanups reduces the incidence of congenital abnormalities for those living within 5,000 meters (or 5,468 yards) of a site. Another study conducted by researchers at Duke and Pittsburgh Universities, concluded that making a site final on the NPL may increase housing prices by signaling that a site has been placed on the path towards remediation. Furthermore, the study found that once a site has all cleanup remedies in place, nearby properties have a significant increase in property values as compared to pre-NPL proposal values.

As with all NPL sites, EPA first works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and requires them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting substantial cleanup at the site.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program, gives EPA the authority to clean up releases of hazardous substances and directs EPA to update the NPL at least annually to protect human health and the environment with the goal of returning these sites to communities for productive use. The NPL contains the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing both enforcement actions and long-term EPA Superfund cleanup funding; only sites on the NPL are eligible for such funding.

Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites:

Information about how a site is listed on the NPL:

Superfund sites in local communities:

More information about the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the law establishing the Superfund program, can be found at:

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