EPA Announces Superfund Task Force Recommendations

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt assembled a task force to provide recommendations on how to restructure and improve the Superfund cleanup process. On July 25, 2017, the Task Force announced its recommendations. The Task Force Report to Administrator Pruitt identified 14 strategies and 42 specific recommendations to achieve the following five goals:

  1. Expediting cleanup and remediation;
  2. Reinvigorating responsible party cleanup and reuse;
  3. Encouraging private investment;
  4. Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization; and
  5. Engaging partners and stakeholders.

The Superfund Program governs the investigation and cleanup of the nation’s most complex hazardous waste sites. The National Priorities List (NPL) includes those sites that are of national priority among these sites because of known or threatened releases of hazardous substances. Currently, there are 1,336 sites on the NPL, of which 1,179 are privately owned sites and 157 are federal facilities. Sites on the NPL are in various stages of remediation.

The recommendations of the Superfund Task Force are meant to improve and expedite the process of site remediation and promote reuse of the remediated sites.

Administrator Pruitt also issued a memo outlining 11 specific actions that should be implemented expeditiously to improve the Superfund program. These include maximizing deletions and partial deletions of sites off the NPL.

The Task Force will be implementing the strategies and recommendations throughout the next year.