New York, N.Y. – Today (October 10), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that in Fiscal Year 2018, the agency deleted all or part of 22 sites from Superfund’s National Priorities List, the largest number of deletions in one year since FY 2005 and a significant increase over the past few years.
In New York, after cleaning up more than 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and approximately nine million gallons of contaminated groundwater, EPA deleted the Fulton Terminals Superfund site, located in the city of Fulton.
“Under President Trump, EPA is deleting Superfund sites from the National Priorities List at the fastest pace in more than a decade,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This remarkable accomplishment is proof that cleaning up contaminated lands and returning them to safe and productive use is a top priority of the Trump EPA.”
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill and strengthen the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. In May 2017, EPA launched the Superfund Task Force to provide recommendations for improving and expediting site cleanups and promoting redevelopment.
Site deletions have been a major focus of the Superfund Task Force. The Task Force reviewed existing policies and procedures related to deleting sites from the NPL and issued several recommendations. In addition, the Superfund program began providing the EPA administrator’s office with monthly updates on upcoming deletions. Through these and other actions, EPA deleted 18 sites and portions of four more sites in FY 2018, a significant increase over the three full or partial deletions in FY 2016.
Another significant Task Force achievement in FY 2018 was increasing the annual number of sites returned to communities for redevelopment.
By redeveloping Superfund sites, communities are able to reuse thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land, often strengthening local economies. Many sites that EPA has designated as ready for reuse in previous years now host parks, business districts, renewable energy facilities, wildlife habitat, neighborhoods, and farms.
In FY 2018, EPA committed to increase the number of NPL sites that achieved sitewide ready for anticipated use (SWRAU) by roughly 25 percent over the previous year. Through focused management attention and improved program practices, EPA achieved this goal: 51 sites reached SWRAU in FY 2018, the highest total since FY 2013.
In coming years, EPA will continue its focus on deleting sites through training and sharing information about the most effective approaches for moving sites to deletion.
EPA is scheduled to conclude implementing the Superfund Task Force recommendations in 2019.
For more information about EPA’s Superfund Task Force: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force