EPA adds to Superfund list - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

EPA adds to Superfund list


WASHINGTON (AP) _ One is a creek contaminated with PCBs in Darby Township, Pa., flowing into the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge where federal officials caution people against eating the fish.

Another is a 150-acre former hazardous waste storage site in Texas City, Texas, leaking chromium and lead into 600-mile Galveston Bay _ seventh-largest estuary in the nation and major commercial and recreation fishery.

Then there is the abandoned copper mine in Strafford, Vt., closed in 1958, but still pumping metals and sulfides into the Copperas Brook and West Branch of the Ompompanoosuc River.

They are among 10 new sites _ six in New England _ being added Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list of most hazardous toxic waste sites in the nation.

The EPA, spending as much as $1.5 billion a year for Superfund cleanups, also proposes adding another 10 sites to the list. The public has 60 days to comment on those.

With these latest actions, being announced in the Federal Register, the EPA's Superfund program has 1,236 sites and 67 proposed for agency action. The combined 1,303 includes 166 federal facilities

The other new sites include four acres with recycled oil company drums at Cooper Drum Company in South Gate, Calif., and an intersection where groundwater is contaminated with perchloroethylene (PCE) in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

There are two New York sites, an inactive junkyard in Newburgh and 60 homes with PCE-contaminated wells along Shenandoah Road in East Fishkill.

In Sheridan, Ore., soil laced with hazardous chemicals from pressure-treated wood and preservatives has been found up to a half-mile away from a lumber plant.

There also are two plants in Massachusetts, where groundwater at a 46-acre plant in Concord once run by Nuclear Metals, Inc., contains uranium and thorium and a former 50-acre landfill known as the Sutton Brook Disposal Area in Tewksbury has buried drums and contaminated groundwater.

Only about 15 percent of the nation's Superfund sites have been cleaned and removed from the list since it was created two decades ago.

The Superfund program's aim is to try to force polluters to pay to clean up toxic sites they either created or made worse, but critics say Superfund often relies on litigation to recover cleanup costs. And that, say industry representatives, often means ensnaring innocent business owners.

Last month, the House passed a bill to protect small businesses from big polluters trying to make them share Superfund costs. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said the Bush administration supports the bill, since multiplying lawsuits have diverted resources from cleanup.

``The less litigation we have, the more likely we finish the job of cleaning up Superfund sites,'' Whitman said.

The EPA puts sites on the list based on its studies of the risks to human health and the environment from uncontrolled hazardous substances in ground and surface water, soil and air. States also have a say in deciding priorities.

In December, the Superfund program turned 20 years old. Congress passed the legislation in 1980 in the wake of the Love Canal toxic waste crisis. The Niagara Falls, N.Y., neighborhood had been built on and around a former chemical dump, and by the 1960s and '70s contaminated groundwater was leaching into back yards and school grounds.

Love Canal has since become a Superfund success, with the cleanup making habitable the outer rim of the contaminated area and more than 200 homes there have been built or renovated.

The EPA is proposing 10 new Superfund sites in Casmalia, Calif.; LaSalle, Ill.; Louisville, Miss.; Central Islip, N.Y.; Hazle Township and West Hazleton, Pa.; Richland Township, Pa.; Deer Park, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Eureka, Utah; and Vershire, Vt.

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.