The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added 10 new hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites that pose risks to human health and the environment. The NPL is a listing of priority sites that the EPA investigates to determine if actions are needed to clean up the waste. Superfund is the federal program that cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country, with the aim of protecting the health of nearby communities and ecosystems from harmful contaminants. In addition to the final sites added to the list, the EPA is also proposing to add eight sites to the NPL.

The following 10 sites have been added to the NPL:
– Salt Chuck Mine (Outer Ketchikan County, Alaska)
– JJ Seifert Machine (Ruskin, Fla.)
– Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.)
– Chemetco (Madison County, Ill.)
– Lake Calumet Cluster (Chicago, Ill.)
– Gratiot County Golf Course (St. Louis, Mich.)
– Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa (Navassa, N.C.)
– Gowanus Canal (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
– Black Butte Mine (Cottage Grove, Ore.)
– Van Der Horst USA Corporation (Terrell, Texas)

The following eight sites have been proposed to the NPL:
– Sanford Dry Cleaners (Sanford, Fla.)
– St. Clair Shores Drain (St. Clair Shores, Mich.)
– Vienna Wells (Vienna, Mo.)
– ACM Smelter and Refinery (Cascade County, Mont.)
– Wright Chemical Corporation (Riegelwood, N.C.)
– Black River PCBs (Jefferson County, N.Y.)
– Dewey Loeffel Landfill (Nassau, N.Y.)
– Smokey Mountain Smelters (Knox County, Tenn.

Contaminants found at these sites may pose a wide range of health effects, according to the EPA. The contaminants found include arsenic, benzene, chromium, copper, creosote, cyanide, dichloroethene (DCE), lead, mercury, perchloroethene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and selenium, among others.

To date, there are 1,279 sites on the NPL (including these 10 new sites). With the proposal of the eight new sites, there are 61 proposed sites awaiting final agency action. There are a total of 1,340 final and proposed sites.

With all of its Superfund sites, the EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination to pay for the clean up. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant cleanup funding is required for these sites.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, visit www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm.