Thursday, September 19, 2019

EPA recognizes achievements of Superfund law on 35th anniversary

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marked the 35th anniversary of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which was signed into law on Dec. 11, 1980 by President Jimmy Carter, by recognizing its positive impacts in the intervening years.

CERCLA, or the Superfund Law, has allowed the EPA to direct the cleanup of contaminated sites, improving human and environmental health throughout the country, including increased availability of clean drinking water and decreased blood-lead levels in children. Through the Superfund Law, the EPA is also required to update the National Priorities List (NPL) at least once a year, ensuring that sites are addressed in a timely manner.

“Clean land, surface water and groundwater are critical elements for healthy and vibrant communities. For the past 35 years, Superfund cleanups have been a positive force in protecting communities’ health, environment and economic wellbeing,”  EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus said. “Superfund has been making a visible difference in communities by returning the country’s most hazardous waste sites to ecological, recreational, industrial, military, commercial, residential and other productive uses.”

Superfund enforcement actions, which require organizations that have polluted or caused contamination on sites to pay for the cleanup, also serve as a deterrent to future pollution.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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