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Ten Final, Seven Proposed Superfund Sites Announced

Release Date: 04/27/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Dale Kemery, 202-564-7839 /

(04/27/05) A battery recycling plant, a sheet-metal manufacturer, a zinc smelter and a gold mine are among 10 new sites just added to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. The sites were selected because of their degree of risk to human health and to sensitive environments. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also proposed that an additional seven sites be added to the list. Contaminants found include cadmium, tetrachloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, mercury, dioxins, zinc, lead and arsenic, among others.

The just-added "final" sites bring the total to 1,245 on the NPL. Altogether, there are 1,309 final and proposed sites on the list. Sixty-four sites have been proposed and are awaiting final agency action: 58 in the general Superfund section and 6 in the federal facilities section.

Once a site is suggested for inclusion on the NPL, EPA conducts a preliminary assessment to distinguish, based on readily available information, between sites that pose little or no threat to human health and the environment and sites that may require further investigation. The assessment also identifies sites requiring possible emergency action.

When the preliminary assessment is complete, if further investigation is necessary, EPA conducts a site inspection to determine what hazardous substances are present, whether these substances are being released to the environment and if they have reached nearby targets.

Sites may be placed on the NPL through various mechanisms:
Numeric ranking established by EPA's Hazard Ranking System.
Designation by states or territories of one top-priority site regardless of score.
Meeting all three following requirements

        • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the U.S. Public Health Service has issued a health advisory that recommends removing people from the site;
        • EPA determines the site poses a significant threat to public health; and
        • EPA anticipates it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority (available only at NPL sites) than to use its emergency removal authority to respond to the site.

EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for such contamination. Such parties agree, on average, to initiate or pay for 70 percent of cleanups. When no parties can be located, EPA conducts in-depth inspections to determine the full extent of the contamination before starting significant construction at the site. These inspections may take several years due to the nature of sampling and testing.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, go to: . A complete list of the newly added sites is at: .