WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency added nine sites to its National Priority List for locations across the country that are known to release, or pose the threat of releasing, hazardous substances into the environment, the agency announced.
The new listings include sites in South Bend, Garden City and Indianapolis in Indiana; Oxford and Gastonia in North Carolina; Farmington, N.H.; Laguna Pueblo, N.M.; Creek County, Okla. and Neah Bay, Wash.
The sites include manufacturing facilities, an oil refinery and a public landfill.
There is a long list of contaminants for each site, ranging from asbestos and arsenic-laced hydroxide sludge in Beck's Lake in South Bend to polyaromatic hydrocarbons and pesticides at a landfill near Neah Bay.
High levels of arsenic have been found in the park and neighborhood surface soil at the South Bend site, and surface water in creaks near Neah Bay contain elevated concentrations of perchlorate, lead, cadmium, manganese, copper and zinc, according to the EPA's online Superfund site.
"The NPL (National Priority List) is intended primarily to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of public health and environmental risks associated with a release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants," according to the action.
Sites on the priority list are eligible for long-term remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program.
The priority list, however, "does not assign liability to any party or to the owner of any specific property. Also, placing a site on the NPL does not mean that any remedial or removal action necessarily need be taken," the EPA said in its action.
The priority list is part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act passed by Congress in 1980.
The regulation is effective Jan. 13, 2014.
The EPA also seeks comments on a separate proposal to add another eight sites to the priorities list, all to the General Superfund Section.
Proposed additions include sites in Newark and Fairfield, N.J.; Norphlet, Ark.; Windham, Maine; York, Neb.; Ridgewood, N.Y. and Collierville, Tenn.
Comments are due Feb. 10, 2014.
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