WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency has added 10 and proposed 15 new sites to the National Priorities List of areas where hazardous substances have been or threaten to be released into the environment.
Called Superfund sites, after the legislation that created a trust fund to monitor and enforce clean-up action at sites polluted by industrial waste, the 10 new additions range from wells in Hormigas, Puerto Rico polluted by chlorinated solvents to the site of a former metal refinery in Montana that smelted heavy metals for ore from 1892 until the 1970s, dumping an estimated 31 million tons of heavy metals into the Missouri River.
Sites proposed for addition to the National Priorities List include an abandoned gold mine in the Siskiyou National Forest in California, a boat construction yard in Astoria, Ore. and an illegal dump on private property in Dundalk, Md.
Once placed on the list, sites become eligible for clean-up action financed by the trust fund or, where liability can be determined, the polluters. Then a remediation plan is developed by the agency and yearly reports are issued on clean-up efforts.
After all remedial actions proposed for a site are taken, a five year follow up report is issued to evaluate if the clean-up was effective and if further action is needed. If no further action is needed the site is taken off the list.