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EPA Proposes 11 New Superfund Sites

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed adding 11 new hazardous waste sites to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The sites present a wide array of contaminants, such as lead, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and volatile organic compounds.

According to EPA, the proposed sites were selected based on various factors, including: risk to human health and the environment; the urgency of the need for response; projected total costs to the fund; maintenance of a strong enforcement program; and the level of support for listing from the state, tribes, and communities.

With the 11 new sites proposed to the NPL, there are now 65 sites proposed and awaiting final agency listing determination, and 1,240 final sites on the NPL. Cleanup construction is complete at 892 locations and is underway at 360 additional sites.

The Sierra Club used the occasion to continue its criticism of the Bush administration for failing to support a tax on companies that funds the cleanup of "orphan" Superfund sites, or locations where no responsible party can be found to pay for remediation.

"Although it is important to continue to recognize sites like these 11 deserve attention, the rate of site listings and cleanups will continue their downward spiral under this administration," asserted Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope in a written statement. "With the cleanup program bankrupt of polluter funds, even sites that make it on the list will compete with other important environmental programs for scarce resources."

The Senate is expected to vote later this week on a measure that would reinstate a tax on companies to pay for the cleanup of the approximately 30 percent Superfund sites without a responsible party. Currently the cleanup of these orphan locations is paid for out of general tax revenues. Last year the Senate rejected a similar amendment by a vote of 43 to 56.

According to EPA, of the 11 proposed additions, two of the sites are former mines, one site has significant drinking water contamination from unidentified sources, and one site has significant water resource sediment contamination.

The 11 proposed sites are: Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination, Evansville, Ind.; Devil's Swamp Lake, Scotlandville, La.; Annapolis Lead Mine, Annapolis, Mo.; Picayune Wood Treating, Picayune, Miss.; Grants Chlorinated Solvents Plume, Grants, N.M.; Diaz Chemical Corporation, Holley, N.Y.; Peninsula Boulevard Groundwater Plume, Hewlett, N.Y.; Ryeland Road Arsenic, Heidelberg Township, Pa.; Cidra Ground Water Contamination, Cidra, Puerto Rico; Pike Hill Copper Mine, Corinth, Vt.; Ravenswood PCE Ground Water Plume, Ravenswood, W.Va.

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