EPA removes 7 cleaned-up sites from Superfund list

EPA removes 7 cleaned-up sites from Superfund list
© Greg Nash

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partially or completely removed seven sites from its Superfund list last year.

The Superfund is part of a federal program which helps to clean up land that has been polluted with hazardous waste. The deletions of sites in 2017 — four partial and three complete — mean that the EPA judged those sites sufficiently cleaned up from past pollution.

EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittTrump admin appeals ruling ordering EPA to ban pesticide Government watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels MORE is touting the deletions as a victory in his mission to chip away at the 1,300 or so sites for which the agency is overseeing cleanups.

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“We have made it a priority to get these sites cleaned up faster and in the right way,” Pruitt said in a Tuesday statement announcing the deletions.

“By creating a streamlined task force and making major remedy decisions that hold potentially responsible parties accountable for clean up, the Superfund program is carrying out the Agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment more every day.”

Pruitt wants Superfund to be a top priority in his time at the EPA, while he’s working to roll back regulations across numerous areas in the agency’s purview, like climate change, air pollution and water pollution.

In 2016 the EPA only deleted two Superfund sites, one complete and one partial.

But previous years showed similar or higher deletion records. The EPA removed seven sites in 2015, 15 sites in 2014 and 12 sites in 2013.

The sites that were completely removed from the Superfund list in 2017 were Nutting Truck & Caster Co. in Minnesota, Shpack Landfill in Massachusetts and the Perdido groundwater contamination site in Alabama.

All of those sites were first put on the Superfund list in the early 1980s and were only ready for removal last year.

The partially removed sites are Mystery Bridge Rd/U.S. Highway 20 in Wyoming, the Ellisville site in Missouri, Omaha Lead in Nebraska and the North Penn — Area 6 in Pennsylvania.

Deletion from the Superfund list requires agreement both by the EPA and the state that a cleanup is complete, a public comment period before deletion and approval from EPA headquarters in Washington.

Some former Superfund sites can be reused for new development, which is a goal of the program and an emphasis of Pruitt’s efforts to boost the program.