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Encyclopedia > Superfund
Checking the status of a cleanup site
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Checking the status of a cleanup site

Superfund is the common name for the United States environmental law that is officially known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 to 9675, which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980 in response to the Love Canal disaster. This law created a tax on petroleum and chemical industries and provided broad federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Over five years, $1.6 billion was collected, and the tax went to a trust fund for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. CERCLA was later amended to increase the amount of the 'Superfund' to $8.5 billion. Drilling operations to verify the status of the Bruin Lagoon hazardous waste cleanup. ... Drilling operations to verify the status of the Bruin Lagoon hazardous waste cleanup. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Congress in Joint Session. ... December 11 is the 345th day (346th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ... Love Canal is a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, located at 43°450 North, 78°577 West (43. ... A tax is a compulsory charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ), crude oil, sometimes colloquially called black gold or Texas Tea, is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ... Chemical tanks in Lillebonne, France Chemical industry includes those industries involved in the production of petrochemicals, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, paints, oleochemicals etc. ... The word federal in a general sense refers to the nature of an agreement between or among two or more states, nations, or other groups to merge into a union in which control of common affairs is held by a central authority created by and with the consent of the... Public health is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis. ... In common law legal systems, a trust is a contractual relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal title to certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by a fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of one or more...


CERCLA established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites, and: Hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and generally exhibits one or more of these characteristics: ignitability corrosivity reactivity (explosive) toxicity Generally, toxicity is quantified through the use of the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure or TCLP test, as required by EPA...

  • provided for the liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites; and
  • established a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified.

CERCLA authorizes two kinds of response actions:

  • Removal actions. Typically short-term response actions, where actions may be taken to address releases or threatened releases requiring prompt response. Removal actions are classified as: (1) emergency; (2) time-critical; and (3) non-time critical. Removal responses are generally used to address risks such as abandoned drums containing hazardous substances, contaminated surface soils posing acute risks to human health or the environment, etc. The regulations for removal actions can be found at 40 C.F.R. 300.415.
  • Remedial actions. Usually more long-term response actions than a removal action. Remedial actions permanently and significantly reduce the risks associated with releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are serious but lack the time-criticality of a removal action. These actions can be conducted only at sites listed on Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA), National Priorities List (NPL), in the United States and territories. The regulations for remedial actions can be found at 40 C.F.R. 300.430.

Under CERCLA, four classes of parties, termed "potential responsible parties," may be liable for contamination at a Superfund site: EPA redirects here. ... The National Priorities List (NPL) is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for long-term remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program. ...

  • the current owner or operator of the site (CERCLA section 107(a));
  • the owner or operator of a site at the time that disposal of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant occurred (CERCLA section 107(a)(2);
  • a person who arranged for the disposal of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant at a site (CERCLA section 107(a)(3)); and
  • a person who transported a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant to a site; that transporter must have also selected that site for the disposal of the hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants (CERCLA section 107(a)(4)).

CERCLA also enabled the revision of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) found at 40 C.F.R Part 300 ("C.F.R." refers to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.) The NCP provided the guidelines and procedures needed to respond to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The NCP also established the National Priorities List. The NPL, which appears as Appendix B to the NCP, primarily serves as an information and management tool for EPA, and helps the Agency prioritize sites for cleanup. The NPL is updated periodically. The identification of a site for the NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in: The National Priorities List (NPL) is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for long-term remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program. ...

  • determining which sites warrant further investigation to assess the nature and extent of the human health and environmental risks associated with a site;
  • identifying what CERCLA-financed remedial actions may be appropriate;
  • notifying the public of sites EPA believes warrant further investigation; and
  • serving notice to potentially responsible parties that EPA may initiate CERCLA-financed remedial action.

Inclusion of a site on the NPL does not in itself require potentially liable parties to initiate action to cleanup the site, nor does it assign liability to any person. The NPL serves primarily informational purposes, identifying for the States and the public those sites or other releases that appear to warrant remedial actions.


The EPA lists 1,604 sites as of May 2005, many of which have already been cleaned up. 2005 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → Deaths in May May 26: Eddie Albert May 25: Ismail Merchant May 25: Sunil Dutt May 25: Graham Kennedy May 22: Thurl Ravenscroft May 21: Howard Morris May 21: Subodh Mukherjee May 21: Stephen Elliott May 20...


Despite its name, the 'Superfund' lacks the sufficient funds to clean up even a small number of the sites on the NPL. As a result, the government will typically order "potentially responsible parties" to clean up the site themselves under Section 106 of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. Section 9606. If a party fails to comply with such an order, it may be fined up to $25,000 per each day that noncompliance continues. A party that cleans up a site may seek contribution from other "potentially responsible parties" under CERCLA section 113(f).


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Superfund - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (774 words)
Superfund is the common name for the United States environmental law that is officially known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 to 9675, which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980 in response to the Love Canal disaster.
This law created a tax on petroleum and chemical industries and provided broad federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.
CERCLA was later amended to increase the amount of the 'Superfund' to $8.5 billion.
Dave Kopel on Superfund on National Review Online (1863 words)
Superfund is a failure, perhaps the most ineffective of all federal environmental programs.
The Superfund law (formally known as CERCLA —; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act) was enacted during the Carter administration thanks to an episode of panic and misinformation about the Love Canal incident in New York, a panic intensified by President Carter's declaration of a state of emergency.
Because anyone who disposed any waste in a Superfund site is liable for the full cost of the clean-up, pizza parlors, and other small businesses that generate very low-toxicity waste have been sued for millions of dollars because they sent their garbage to a municipal landfill that began to leak decades later.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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