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EPA launches new office to strengthen engagement with agricultural and rural communities

EPA Air - Fri, 03/01/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is establishing a new office to expand engagement opportunities with agricultural and rural communities. The creation of the first-ever EPA Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs represents the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to improving environmental stewardship and economic opportunity for America’s farmers and ranchers, as well as strengthening the vitality of small towns and rural communities.

“Farmers and ranchers are crucial partners as we work together to deliver clean air, clear water, and climate solutions, all while playing the critical role of ensuring an abundant fiber, fuel and food supply,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “With the launch of this new office, we are ensuring agricultural and rural stakeholders will continue to have a seat at the table for many years to come.”

Administrator Regan announced the creation of the new office alongside U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack while delivering remarks at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas, the largest farmer-led annual convention in the country. He is the first EPA Administrator in history to attend the seminal event.

The new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be led by Rod Snyder, who has served as Administrator Regan’s Senior Advisor for Agriculture since October 2021. The new office will expand on the work of the Ag Advisor and increase coordination with a network of existing agriculture policy advisors located in all ten EPA regional offices across the country.

In close coordination with EPA’s program offices and regions, the office will forge practical, science-based solutions that protect the environment while ensuring a vibrant and productive agricultural system. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Rural Partners Network, the new office will also collaborate with small, underserved towns and rural communities that are seeking federal investments in infrastructure upgrades and other community improvement opportunities.

Additionally, the new office will facilitate closer coordination with relevant federal and state partners such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and state departments of agriculture. The office will also house EPA’s existing Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC). The Committee provides independent policy recommendations to Administrator Regan on a range of policies that impact agriculture and rural communities.

Please visit the Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs website for more information.

EPA finalizes stronger safety standards to protect at-risk communities from chemical accidents

EPA Air - Fri, 03/01/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, Mar. 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing finalized amendments to the Risk Management Program to further protect at-risk communities from chemical accidents, especially those located near facilities in industry sectors with high accident rates. The “Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention Rule” includes EPA’s most protective safety provisions for chemical facilities in history, requiring stronger measures for prevention, preparedness, and public transparency. The rule protects the health and safety of all communities by requiring industry to prevent accidental releases of dangerous chemicals that could otherwise cause deaths and injuries, damage property and the environment, or require surrounding communities to evacuate or shelter-in-place.

“Many communities that are vulnerable to chemical accidents are in overburdened and underserved areas of the country,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This final rule is a critical piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice by putting in place stronger safety requirements for industrial facilities and new measures to protect communities from harm.” 

The final rule includes revisions to improve chemical process safety, to assist in planning, preparing for, and responding to accidents, and to increase public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated sources. The rule requires regulated facilities to perform a safer technologies and alternatives analysis, and in some cases, facilities will be required to implement reliable safeguard measures as practicable. This new requirement is expected to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents.

For example, in 2019, an explosion and fire at the TPC Group in Port Neches, Texas, resulted in the largest number of evacuees in history (50,000 people), as well as $153 million in offsite property damage. Had the provisions being finalized today been in effect prior to the TPC Group accident, the facility would have been required to perform a safer technologies and alternatives analysis and implement at least one safeguard measure, which may have mitigated or prevented the accident from occurring.

The final rule covers all 11,740 regulated RMP facilities across the country and contains more rigorous requirements for a subgroup of facilities that are more accident-prone and pose the greatest risk to communities. EPA estimates that accidental releases from RMP facilities cost society more than $540 million each year. There are approximately 131 million people living within three miles of RMP facilities, of which approximately 20 million identify as Black or African American, 32 million identify as Hispanic or Latino, and 44 million earn less than or equal to twice the poverty level.

The rule also includes provisions such as empowering workers in safety decisions and increasing access to RMP facility information for communities living and working in the surrounding areas. To further enhance public transparency, in the coming months, EPA is working toward making RMP information available on the agency’s website.

EPA incorporated robust stakeholder input and coordinated with other federal chemical safety and security agencies during the rulemaking process that were vital in developing a comprehensive proposal and effective final rule to further protect at-risk communities from chemical accidents. Final amendments to the rule include:

  • Requiring a safer technologies and alternatives analysis, and in some cases, implementation of reliable safeguard measures for certain facilities in industry sectors with high accident rates.
  • Advancing employee participation, training, and opportunities for employee decision-making in facility accident prevention, for example:
  • Reiterating the allowance of a partial or complete process shutdown in the event of a potential catastrophic release.
  • Implementing a process to allow employees and their representatives to anonymously report specific unaddressed hazards.
  • Requiring third-party compliance audits and root cause analysis incident investigation for facilities that have had a prior accident.
  • Enhancing facility planning and preparedness efforts to strengthen emergency response by ensuring chemical release information is timely shared with local responders and a community notification system is in place to warn the community of any impending release.
  • Emphasizing the requirement for regulated facilities to evaluate risks of natural hazards and climate change, including any associated loss of power.
  • Increasing transparency by providing access to RMP facility information for communities nearby.

The rule will be published alongside a query tool which will allow people to access information for RMPs in nearby communities. The agency intends to update the tool in the coming months to allow visualization of climate change hazards, a request of several stakeholders. This commitment aligns with a key goal of the National Climate Resilience Framework—to equip communities with the information and resources needed to assess their climate risks and develop the climate resilience solutions most appropriate for them.

Read more information on the rule visit EPA’s Risk Management Program rule website.

EPA to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Soil Sampling Efforts at the Town of Pines Superfund Site in Indiana

EPA Air - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:00

CHICAGO (February 29, 2024) - On Thursday, March 14, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a community meeting to discuss residential soil sampling for properties within the Town of Pines Superfund site, Town of Pines, Indiana. The meeting will be held in the Michigan City Council Chambers, 100 E. Michigan Blvd., Michigan City, from 6-7:30 p.m.   

The public meeting will provide an update on site activities, including information about ongoing soil sampling efforts and an opportunity for residents to request soil sampling by signing a document granting EPA outdoor property access. Residents do not need to be present at this meeting to request soil sampling. For more information, please visit our website at www.epa.gov/superfund/town-pines-groundwater

Under the direction of EPA, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, or NIPSCO, has conducted soil sampling on private properties at the site since 2014. To date, about 200 properties have been tested for the presence of coal ash, also known as coal combustion residuals, or CCRs. Results from this testing showed evidence of coal ash-related metals at levels capable of impacting human health at a few of the properties sampled. Due to these results, EPA is looking to continue its investigation within the community. 

For any questions or concerns in advance of the meeting, please contact the site’s community involvement coordinator, Kirstin Safakas, at 312-919-4621 or safakas.kirstin@epa.gov

For more information about the Town of Pines Superfund, please visit the Town of Pines Site. 

EPA invests $3B into clean ports

EPA Air - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:00

SEATTLE -- Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the launch of the $3 billion Clean Ports Program to fund zero-emission equipment, infrastructure and climate planning at U.S. ports.  

The funding opportunities were created under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act — the largest climate investment in history — and will advance environmental justice by reducing diesel pollution from U.S. ports in surrounding communities, while creating good-paying jobs.  

"Few areas in the country understand the importance of ports more than those of us in the Pacific Northwest,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “They bring jobs, goods and connect us to the world. Through the Clean Ports Program, EPA wants to assist this vital industry in transitioning to cleaner technology and creating healthier communities. We encourage all the ports in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to apply.” 

“Washington state knows better than anyone just how important our ports are—they truly are the gateway to the world for so many people and businesses,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I was at the Port of Tacoma last week and have seen firsthand how our ports are putting to good use funding we passed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including major investments in decarbonization—I’ve also heard directly from Port Commissioners across our state about how excited they are to apply to the Clean Ports Program. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, this program is an exciting opportunity for Washington state ports to compete for major federal funding to help them transition to fully zero-emissions operation, reducing pollution in nearby communities and helping to tackle climate change—I encourage ports everywhere in Washington state to apply.” 

The Clean Ports Program is designed to help ports across the country transition to fully zero-emissions operations — serving as a catalyst for transformational change across the freight sector. To achieve this, EPA is releasing two separate Notice of Funding Opportunities: 

  • The nearly $2.28 billion Zero-Emission Technology Deployment Competition will directly fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure to reduce mobile source emissions at U.S. ports. Eligible uses of funding include human-operated and maintained zero-emission cargo handling equipment, harbor craft and other vessels, electric charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and a number of other technology investments. Applications under this competition will be evaluated under multiple tiers in order to ensure that funds are distributed across ports of different sizes and types, and to ensure funding for ports serving Tribal communities.  
  • The approximately $150 million Climate and Air Quality Planning Competition will fund climate and air quality planning activities at U.S. ports — including emissions inventories, strategy analysis, community engagement, and resiliency measure identification.  

Together, these opportunities will advance next-generation, clean technologies that will more safely and efficiently drive the movement of goods and passengers at our nation’s ports, a critical part of America’s supply chain infrastructure while reducing pollution and advancing environmental justice. 

The funding for the two grant competitions is available to port authorities; state, regional, local, or Tribal agencies that have jurisdiction over a port authority or port; air pollution control agencies; and private entities that apply in partnership with an eligible entity above, and that own, operate or use facilities, cargo-handling equipment, transportation equipment, or related technology of a port. The funding can be used for projects at water ports (coastal and inland) as well as projects at facilities where goods are transferred between rail cars and trucks (dry ports). 

Ports are the transportation and commerce hubs that make the U.S. economy hum. In our global economy, efficient and effective ports are central to our economic viability and prosperity. At the same time, they are places where large concentrations of diesel equipment converge — including ships, trucks, rail, and non-road machinery. These diesel engines, particularly older engines found in many ports, operate near where people live, work, and play, emitting air pollution that can harm human health and contribute to climate change. This historic investment in clean technologies at ports that reduce exposure to air pollution will protect public health, particularly for communities surrounding ports. The Clean Ports Program will also help to ensure that meaningful community engagement and emissions reduction planning are port industry standard practices. 

The new program builds on the success of EPA’s Ports Initiative and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act programs, which have invested over $196 million to implement 207 diesel emissions reduction projects at ports with an additional $88 million to multi-sector projects that involve ports. Using the Ports Initiative and DERA’s strong foundation as a launchpad, the Clean Ports Program will drive transformational change across the freight sector. This new Clean Ports Program is one of several complementary programs funded by the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that can help reduce emissions at ports, including the Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure Development Program, which will be releasing a NOFO shortly. Visit a new interagency webpage summarizing federal funding opportunities for low- to zero-emission port technologies

In addition to protecting human health and the environment, the program will create new jobs in the domestic clean energy sector and enhance U.S. economic competitiveness, through innovation, installation, maintenance, and operation of zero-emissions equipment and infrastructure. The program’s historic investment in zero-emission port technology will promote and ensure the U.S. position as a global leader in clean technologies.  

EPA Plans Sampling for Cleanup of Residential Areas at the Iron King Mine – Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site

EPA Air - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:00

PHOENIX  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the next step to initiate its final cleanup plan, or Record of Decision, in Dewey-Humboldt, Ariz. Soil sampling in residential yards is needed to determine where residential cleanups can occur. In March, EPA will ask property owners for access to sample their properties. Providing access will benefit owners and tenants because it will determine whether cleanup is necessary to protect health and ensure site-related contamination does not remain on their property. Samples of shallow soils will be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the EPA will contact owners to discuss property-specific cleanup plans if cleanup is necessary. The cleanup will involve removing and replacing contaminated soil with clean soil before property restoration.

EPA has already performed cleanup actions for soil in residential properties that eliminated the highest contamination levels. The agency will now perform a final cleanup action at properties aiming to reach the lower levels of contamination set out in the Iron King Mine – Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site in its plan. This action will help ensure the long-term protection of residents’ health concerning the Superfund site.

“The residential soil and mine waste cleanups, taken together, are the key elements of EPA’s final plan for protecting residents and wildlife from harmful contamination,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA remains committed to finishing our cleanup efforts for the Dewey-Humboldt community and using our Superfund program in Arizona and across the nation to safeguard public health.”

The overall cleanup will also address mine and smelter waste in non-residential areas. EPA is advancing the cleanup project’s engineering design to cleanup non-residential areas using repositories – waste-holding cells that permanently seal off contamination from infiltrating water and exposing people. This design will address the extensive tailings pile at the former mine, the wastes remaining at the former smelter, tailings and contaminated soils in the Chaparral Gulch drainage, and other contamination left behind by the mine and former smelter.

For more information on the Iron King Mine – Humboldt Smelter, visit epa.gov/superfund/ironkingmine.

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EPA announces additional $11.5M for Superfund site in Oregon

EPA Air - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:00

SEATTLE — Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $1 billion for cleanup projects across the country, including Oregon.  

An additional $11.5 million is now available to address the 53-acre Northwest Pipe & Casing/Hall Process Company Superfund site located in Clackamas, Oregon. The site is the source of a persistent plume of chlorinated solvent contaminated groundwater. The original cleanup plan for groundwater included a remedy that was found to be ineffective after several years of operation. In the years since the original cleanup plan, groundwater cleanup technologies have progressed and new approaches are now viable. New funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to support the design and implementation of one of these newer approaches, and ultimately reduce the size of the contaminated groundwater plume and the areas subject to restrictions. 

“Yesterday’s funding announcement is the latest example of how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is enabling EPA to address legacy pollution in communities across the Pacific Northwest,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “With this funding EPA will be able to deploy new technologies, reduce ongoing impacts to the area, and accelerate cleanup of the site.”  

“The EPA’s major investments to clean up Superfund sites across the nation—including federal funding needed to help address soil and groundwater contamination at the Northwest Pipe & Casing/Hall Process Company Superfund site in Clackamas County—is a win to protect our natural resources, community members’ health, and the local economy,” said Senator Jeff Merkley, Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees annual funding for the EPA’s Superfund program. “Funding projects like these that clean up enduring pollution, advance environmental justice, and invest in the long-term health, safety, and revitalization of our communities is just what the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was intended to do.” 

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels. 

EPA is committed to continuing to carry out this work advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site. These investments are restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution.  

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

To see a list of the 25 sites nationwide receiving funding, visit EPA’s Superfund webpage

EPA Opens $1.5M Grant Competition for Pollution Source Reduction Projects, Apply By April 15th

EPA Air - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites eligible applicants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Washington D.C. to apply for a Regional Source Reduction Assistance grant by April 15, 2024. This regional competitive grant provides awardees with up to $240,000 in funding for projects that promote practical source reduction practices, tools and training, or Pollution Prevention (P2) approaches to measurably improve the environment. 

In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, these grants will emphasize projects that support environmental justice and prevention of greenhouse gas emissions. EPA anticipates awarding between seven and 27 awards ranging from $40,000 to $240,000. Eligible applicants include states, local, interstate, and intrastate government agencies and instrumentalities, federally recognized Tribes, inter-tribal consortia, and non-profit organizations. 

Every year, the United States produces billions of pounds of pollution and spends billions of dollars controlling this pollution. Source reduction activities can lessen exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce financial costs for businesses, particularly waste management, and cleanup. 

The agency is particularly interested in receiving applications for projects in that result in reduced generation and use of hazardous materials, projects that address reducing use of natural resources such as energy or water, and projects that support underserved communities. All projects must take place within the geographic boundaries of one of EPA Regions 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10.  

EPA may make additional awards under this solicitation if additional funding becomes available after the original selections are made. Applications require a cost share or match of 5% of the federal funds requested. 
 

For more information or to apply, visit www.grants.gov and go to Funding Opportunity Announcement EPA-REGIONS-LCRD-2024-01. 

EPA Advances Climate Action in the Virgin Islands

EPA Air - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 19:00

NEW YORK – (February 29, 2024)  The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is directly investing in strategies to reduce climate pollution and build clean energy economy across the US Virgin Islands through the ground-breaking Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia joined Virgin Islands Energy Office Director Kyle D. Fleming, and others today to celebrate the official award of a half million dollars to the Virgin Islands Energy Office under EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program, a program funded through IRA. 

Earlier this year, EPA awarded a $500,000 Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant to the Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) which will provide support for USVI’s climate planning process. VIEO will use the planning grant to design a climate action plan for USVI that may include a variety of measures to reduce GHG emissions from across key sectors. Those sectors include electricity generation, industry, transportation, buildings, agriculture/natural and working lands, and waste management. This award will help USVI identify greenhouse gas reduction opportunities and quantify the benefits of energy efficiency programs.  

“Caribbean islands have unique opportunities to tackle climate change which is why EPA is happy to be here in St. Thomas to celebrate with the Virgin Islands Energy Office receiving this planning grant,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “People living in the U.S. Virgin Islands understand the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emission sources and this funding is an important step forward in our joint efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change.   

“The Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant award marks a transformative step forward for the U.S. Virgin Islands in our fight against climate change. The program is not just an investment in our environment but a commitment to our future. I am immensely proud of the Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) and VIEO Director Fleming for securing this planning grant, which will aid in creating a more sustainable and resilient Virgin Islands,” said Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett. 

“The US Virgin Islands are situated on the front lines of climate change and face the most immediate and severe consequences of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and environmental degradation,” said Virgin Island Energy Office Director Kyle D. Fleming. “Strategically planning and implementing effective pollution reduction strategies is not merely an option but a critical imperative for the territory's sustainable development. Through the successful award of the CPRG planning funds, the Virgin Islands Energy Office strives to be the catalyst of safeguarding our vulnerable ecosystem while preserving our economic viability & cultural heritage for generations to come.”  

In September 2023, EPA launched a $4.6 competition for the second phase of the CPRG program, the Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants. This funding can be used to implement projects and initiatives identified in the Priority Climate Action Plans (PCAP) that were developed by CPRG planning grant recipients. Approximately $300 million will be specifically reserved for Climate Pollution Reduction Implementation Grants for territories and Indian Nations. The Virgin Islands Energy Office and other territorial agencies will be eligible to receive this implementation funding because USVI has opted in to receive the planning grant. 

If you would like to learn more about the CPRG Program, please visit this webpage.  

To learn more about CPRG training, tools, and technical assistance, please visit this webpage

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EPA Reaches Settlement with S & W Atlas Iron & Metal of Los Angeles over Stormwater Pollution Claims

EPA Air - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has entered into an Administrative Order on Consent with S & W Atlas Iron & Metal Co. Inc. over claims of Clean Water Act violations at its facility in Los Angeles, California. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will undertake several steps to upgrade their treatment system and to prevent stormwater pollutants—including metals—from discharging onto the grounds of Jordan High School and into Compton Creek, a tributary of the Los Angeles River.

“Tackling the harmful pollution carried in stormwater is a vital part of the Clean Water Act. This order requires Atlas to improve their stormwater treatment and eliminate any water pollutant discharge from leaving the site and reaching Jordan High School,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA is committed to protecting human health and the environment by reducing exposure to lead and heavy metals, especially for children and communities with environmental justice concerns.”

Pollutants from industrial facilities that are carried by stormwater, if not properly managed, can impact water quality and aquatic life. This occurs when rainwater washes over surfaces at industrial sites, picking up harmful pollutants like chemicals, metals, and sediments before flowing offsite into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes. The Clean Water Act requires that certain industrial facilities, such as S &W Atlas Iron & Metal, obtain permits to control the discharge of pollutants in stormwater runoff to water bodies. These facilities must develop and implement stormwater pollution prevention plans.

EPA alleges that for the 2022-2023 monitoring period, S &W Atlas Iron & Metal exceeded the limits for levels of iron, zinc, and copper in its discharge. These limits are meant to protect the Los Angeles River. Additionally, EPA alleges that S & W Atlas discharged stormwater through unauthorized breaches in a perimeter wall onto Jordan High School property. To settle these EPA claims of violations, S & W Atlas has agreed to:

  1. Submit and implement a Stormwater Containment Plan.
  2. Operate and maintain the stormwater treatment system and stormwater/oil separator according to the manufacturer’s manual.
  3. Include standard operating procedures in the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).
  4. Require and provide frequent training for employees according to the updated SWPPP.

EPA conducts inspections and takes enforcement actions as part of its mission to protect public health and the environment. EPA will monitor S & W Atlas Iron & Metal’s progress and take further action should the company fail to meet its obligations.

Learn more about the stormwater permits under the Clean Water Act.

Read more about the EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and the Clean Water Act.

For more information on reporting possible violations of environmental laws and regulations visit EPA’s enforcement reporting website.

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La EPA anuncia fondos de la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura para limpieza en el Lugar Superfondo de Scorpio Recycling en Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:00

NUEVA YORK - La Agencia Federal de Protección Ambiental de los Estados Unidos (USEPA) anunció hoy que el lugar Superfondo Scorpio Recycling, Inc. en Toa Baja, Puerto Rico se encuentra entre más de 100 lugares en todo el país que reciben más de mil millones de dólares para proyectos de limpieza como parte de la “Investing in America” del presidente Biden. Estos fondos son posibles gracias a la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura (BIL, por sus siglas en inglés) del presidente y lanzará nuevos proyectos de limpieza en 25 lugares Superfondo, continuando con otras limpiezas en más de 85 lugares Superfondo.

Existen miles de lugares contaminados en todo el país debido a que desechos peligrosos se vierten, se dejan a la intemperie o se manejan de otros modos indebidos. Estos lugares pueden incluir sustancias químicas tóxicas de instalaciones manufactureras, instalaciones procesadoras, rellenos sanitarios y minería, con el potencial de perjudicar la salud y el bienestar de las comunidades locales en áreas urbanas y rurales. Más de uno de cada cuatro estadounidenses negros e hispanos viven dentro de un radio de tres millas de un lugar Superfondo. 

“La gente que vive en Puerto Rico ha visto directamente lo transformador que puede ser el programa Superfondo para las comunidades”, señaló Lisa F. García, administradora regional de la EPA.  “Esta inversión en Estados Unidos y en Puerto Rico se basa en el progreso histórico que ya hemos logrado en años recientes para asegurar que las comunidades que viven cerca de los lugares contaminados, de manera seriamente descontrolada, o abandonados reciban las protecciones que merecen.”

“La Administración Biden-Harris sigue demostrando su firme apoyo a Puerto Rico en nuestros esfuerzos colaborativos para la protección de los recursos naturales en la Isla. Luego del anuncio de la semana pasada sobre la asignación de $63.3 millones para el trabajo en nuestra infraestructura de agua potable, hoy nos place anunciar otra asignación para la limpieza localizada en el área de la antigua instalación Scorpio Recycling, Inc., perteneciente al listado del Programa Superfondo. Esa área, la cual fue una planta de reciclaje de metales en Toa Baja hasta el 2010, es uno de los más de 100 lugares en toda la Nación que recibirán fondos de los más de $1,000 millones del BIL. Los $3.1 millones que la EPA destinó para Puerto Rico se utilizarán para rectificar la contaminación y continuar la limpieza en esta última etapa de la obra. Nuevamente, queda demostrado que las acciones hablan más que las palabras, y mi administración continuará trabajando con el gobierno federal para proteger nuestro medioambiente y la salud de todos los ciudadanos que residen en Puerto Rico,” destacó el gobernador Pedro R. Pierluisi.

El lugar de Scorpio Recycling Inc. en Toa Baja, Puerto Rico era una instalación de reciclaje de metales de 6 cuerdas que compraba todo tipo de metal y lo vendía a fundidoras en los Estados Unidos, Brasil, España y Japón. La instalación comenzó sus operaciones en 1972. El lugar era mal administrador, y contaminaron el suelo con ácidos, plomo y otros metales. La EPA remedió los riesgos inmediatos al excavar y eliminar armazones de baterías y escombros, y estabilizar la contaminación en partes del lugar tratando el suelo con fosfato trisódico como medida provisoria de mitigación destinada a inmovilizar el plomo.

Los fondos del BIL de la EPA se utilizarán para instalar una cubierta de grava en un área industrial y una cubierta de tierra en un área de conservación del lugar.  Este trabajo se estima que tendrá un costo de $3.1 millones y será el último trabajo planificado para remediar la contaminación en este lugar. Se espera que el trabajo termine en 2028.

Dicha inversión es la última oleada de fondos de los $3,500 millones asignados por BIL del presidente Biden para trabajos de limpieza de Superfondo. Hasta ahora, la EPA ha desplegado más de $2 mil millones para actividades de limpieza en más de 150 lugares Superfondo en la Lista Nacional de Prioridades. Gracias al compromiso del presidente Biden para atender la contaminación existente y mejorar la salud pública, la EPA ha podido aportar todos estos fondos para trabajo de limpieza en los últimos dos años; tal como lo hizo en los últimos cinco años gracias a la Iniciativa Justice40 del presidente Biden. La iniciativa Justice40 fijó una meta de aportar el 40% de los beneficios generales de ciertas inversiones federales a comunidades desventajadas que se encuentran marginadas por la escasa inversión y sobrecargadas por la contaminación.

La EPA está comprometida a avanzar la justicia ambiental e incorporar consideraciones de equidad en todos los aspectos del proceso de limpieza de lugares Superfondo.  A la fecha, casi el 80% de los fondos del BIL se ha destinado a lugares en comunidades con posibles casos de justicia ambiental. De los 25 lugares que recibirán fondos para nuevos proyectos de limpieza, más del 75% están en comunidades con preocupaciones potenciales de justicia ambiental según datos de EJSCREEN.

La agenda Invest in America del presidente Biden procura restaurar la salud y la vitalidad económica de comunidades que han estado expuestas a una contaminación existente generalizada. La inversión histórica efectuada por el BIL fortalece cada parte del programa Superfondo, haciendo una diferencia enorme en la capacidad de la EPA para enfrentar amenazas a la salud humana y el medioambiente. Además de financiar obras de construcción para limpieza, la inversión permite que la EPA aumente los fondos y acelere trabajo esencial necesario para preparar los lugares para la construcción y asegurar que las comunidades participen de manera significativa en el proceso de limpieza. En 2023, la EPA costeó y duplicó las actividades de Superfondo previas a la etapa construcción, tales como investigaciones de remedios, estudios de viabilidad, diseños de remedio y participación comunitaria gracias al BIL.

En 1980, el Congreso promulgó la Ley de Responsabilidad, Compensación y Recuperación Ambiental (CERCLA), conocida como Superfondo. La ley dio a la EPA la autoridad y los fondos para responsabilizar a quienes causen la contaminación y que estos limpien los lugares más contaminados en todo el país. Cuando no se encuentra ninguna parte responsable viable o si esta no puede costear la limpieza, la EPA interviene para atender los riesgos inmediatos a la salud humana y al medioambiente usando fondos asignados por el Congreso, como el financiamiento provisto por el BIL.

Para ver una lista de los 25 lugares que recibirán fondos para nuevos proyectos de limpieza, visite: https://www.epa.gov/Superfondo/Superfondo-sites-new-construction-projects-receive-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding

Para ver hitos de los primeros dos años de la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura en los lugares Superfondo, visite el lugar web de la EPA Limpieza de lugares Superfondo: Hitos de los fondos de la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura.

Para obtener más detalles sobre el programa Superfondo de la EPA, visite el lugar web Superfondo de la EPA.

Siga a la Región 2 de la EPA en X y visite nuestra página en Facebook. Para obtener más información sobre la Región 2 de la EPA, visite nuestro lugar web.

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EPA Region 7 Grantee Seeks to Decrease Children’s Exposure to Lead and Pesticides in Vulnerable St. Louis Communities

EPA Air - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (FEB. 28, 2024) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 has awarded Children’s Mercy Region 7 Director of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Dr. Elizabeth Friedman a one-year, $40,000 cooperative agreement grant to conduct outreach and education on children’s lead and pesticide safety and exposure risk reduction to child care providers in St. Louis, Missouri.

“EPA Region 7 is committed to continuing its efforts to reduce children’s exposure from all sources of lead and pesticides,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “This grant exemplifies our commitment to reducing sources of lead and pesticide exposure across the region and in historically underserved and overburdened communities.”

The Children’s Mercy project, “Lead and Pesticide Safety Outreach to In-Home Early Child Care Centers,” seeks to:

  • Deliver outreach and education on children’s lead and pesticide safety and exposure risk reduction to day care providers.
  • Establish a series of digital pesticide safety messages to micro‐targeted groups and outlets within the community, resulting in reduced use and better handling of pesticide products.
  • Decrease the exposure of children to lead and pesticides at child care centers.
  • Increase the awareness of the health impacts of elevated blood lead levels in children and the availability of free testing through the St. Louis City Program, and in‐home lead assessments and water testing through the St. Louis County Program.
  • Encourage best practices, including the use of lead renovation, repair, and painting (RRP)-certified contractors for remediation.

Dr. Friedman is the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit’s (PEHSU’s) co-director of the Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unity (MAPEHSU). Children’s Mercy Hospital provides comprehensive, pediatric environmental health services through MAPEHSU, which is one of 10 PEHSUs in the nation.

# # #

Learn more about EPA Region 7

View all Region 7 news releases

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook and Instagram

Follow us on X: @EPARegion7

Biden-Harris Administration announces new cleanup project in Texas as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda

EPA Air - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (February 28, 2024) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a site in Happy, Texas, will receive several million dollars from the third and final wave of more than $1 billion for cleanup projects across the country as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The new funding will go toward the North East 2nd Street National Priorities List site to install a system to remove contamination from the Ogallala Aquifer.

“After three rounds of investments, EPA is delivering on President Biden’s full promise to invest in cleaning up America’s most contaminated Superfund sites,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “This final round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has made it possible for EPA to initiate clean ups at every single Superfund site where construction work is ready to begin. This is an incredible milestone in our efforts to clean up and protect communities, deliver local jobs, enhance economic activity, and improve people’s lives for years to come.”

“Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is benefiting communities around the country, and now the community of Happy, Texas, will see progress on the North East 2nd Street cleanup site,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Installing the groundwater treatment system will also help restore and protect the Ogallala Aquifer, one of Texas’s most important water resources.”

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, the cleanup project at the North East 2nd Street site will start. The new funding will be used to construct a pump-and-treat system to clean up contaminated groundwater in the Ogallala Aquifer, identified as a major aquifer in Texas. The site, near homes and schools, is a former grain storage facility that was destroyed by an explosion and fire in 1962. Firefighting activities released carbon tetrachloride (CTC), which can cause liver and kidney damage. Other contaminants found at the site include 1,2-dibromethane (EDB), 1,2-dichloroethane (DCA) and chloroform.

Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. These sites can include toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining, and can harm the health and well-being of local communities in urban and rural areas.

This investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites. Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

EPA is committed to continuing to carry out this work advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site. These investments are restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Out of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, more than 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN.

The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, the investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels.

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

To see a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, please visit our webpage.

To see highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, visit EPA’s Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: Highlights of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding website.

For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, visit EPA’s Superfund website.  

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

Biden-Harris Administration invests $3B into clean ports as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda

EPA Air - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, Feb. 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the launch of the $3 billion Clean Ports Program to fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure to tackle the climate crisis and improve air quality at U.S. ports as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The funding opportunities were created under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act — the largest climate investment in history — and will advance environmental justice by reducing diesel pollution from U.S. ports in surrounding communities, while creating good-paying jobs. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan made this announcement at an event in Wilmington, North Carolina with Governor Roy Cooper today as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America tour.

“Our nation’s ports are among the busiest in the world, helping us to create good jobs here in America, move goods, and grow our economy,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Today’s historic funding announcement reflects President Biden’s vision of growing our economy while ensuring America leads in creating globally competitive solutions of the future. Today we’re making $3 billion available to install cleaner and more efficient technologies while cutting air pollution to protect the people who work at and live near ports.”

“Our country’s ports feed our supply chains to put food on our tables, keep our businesses running and provide for our everyday needs,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We are deeply grateful to the Biden Administration for the investments that have helped fix our supply chain, rebuild our infrastructure and create thousands of good paying clean energy jobs.”

“Communities living near America’s ports have borne the brunt of some of the worst air pollution coming from shipping, trucking, and maritime industries,” said John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy. “Today’s historic announcement from EPA is an investment in a cleaner, healthier future for those communities.”

“President Biden and Vice President Harris believe every person deserves clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment. Communities near our nation’s ports are disproportionately impacted by air pollution and other environmental hazards, and this funding will help reduce emissions while creating good-paying jobs as we transition to a clean energy future,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory. “Today’s announcement will help ensure families who live, work, and play near our ports have cleaner air to breathe and a healthier environment as we work to advance the President’s ambitious environmental justice agenda.”

“For decades, ports have been hubs of pollution — but thanks to President Biden, we are turning them into hubs of American innovation,” said Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “There’s an incredible array of new technologies that can make ports cleaner and greener, all while creating good-paying jobs and strengthening American supply chains. The Clean Ports Program is demonstrating how these technologies can work together to deliver clean air for our children, cut down on harmful climate pollution, and achieve fully zero-emission operations. That’s a gamechanger for port communities, for workers, and for America’s economy. That’s environmental justice – long overdue.”

The Clean Ports Program will help advance the President’s commitment to environmental justice and the Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments in climate, clean energy, and other areas flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. In addition to these efforts, EPA strived to ensure that near-port community engagement and equity considerations are at the forefront of our program design, including by evaluating applications on the extent and quality of community engagement efforts.

The Clean Ports Program is designed to help ports across the country transition to fully zero-emissions operations — serving as a catalyst for transformational change across the freight sector. To achieve this, EPA is releasing two separate Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) as part of the $3 billion. The nearly $2.8 billion Zero-Emission Technology Deployment Competition will directly fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure to reduce mobile source emissions at U.S. ports. Eligible uses of funding include human-operated and maintained zero-emission cargo handling equipment, harbor craft and other vessels, electric charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and a number of other technology investments. Applications under this competition will be evaluated under multiple tiers in order to ensure that funds are distributed across ports of different sizes and types, and to ensure funding for ports serving Tribal communities.

The approximately $150 million Climate and Air Quality Planning Competition will fund climate and air quality planning activities at U.S. ports — including emissions inventories, strategy analysis, community engagement, and resiliency measure identification. Together, these opportunities will advance next-generation, clean technologies that will more safely and efficiently drive the movement of goods and passengers at our nation’s ports, a critical part of America’s supply chain infrastructure while reducing pollution and advancing environmental justice.

The funding for the two grant competitions is available to port authorities; state, regional, local, or Tribal agencies that have jurisdiction over a port authority or port; air pollution control agencies; and private entities that apply in partnership with an eligible entity above, and that own, operate or use facilities, cargo-handling equipment, transportation equipment, or related technology of a port. The funding can be used for projects at water ports (coastal and inland) as well as projects at facilities where goods are transferred between rail cars and trucks (dry ports).

Ports are the transportation and commerce hubs that make the U.S. economy hum. In our global economy, efficient and effective ports are central to our economic viability and prosperity. At the same time, they are places where large concentrations of diesel equipment converge — including ships, trucks, rail, and non-road machinery. These diesel engines, particularly older engines found in many ports, operate near where people live, work, and play, emitting air pollution that can harm human health and contribute to climate change. This historic investment in clean technologies at ports that reduce exposure to air pollution will protect public health, particularly for communities surrounding ports. The Clean Ports Program will also help to ensure that meaningful community engagement and emissions reduction planning are port industry standard practices.

The new program builds on the success of EPA’s Ports Initiative and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act programs, which have invested over $196 million to implement 207 diesel emissions reduction projects at ports with an additional $88 million to multi-sector projects that involve ports. Using the Ports Initiative and DERA’s strong foundation as a launchpad, the Clean Ports Program will drive transformational change across the freight sector. This new Clean Ports Program is one of several complementary programs funded by the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that can help reduce emissions at ports, including the Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure Development Program, which will be releasing a NOFO shortly. Visit a new interagency webpage summarizing federal funding opportunities for low- to zero-emission port technologies.

In addition to protecting human health and the environment, the program will create new jobs in the domestic clean energy sector and enhance U.S. economic competitiveness, through innovation, installation, maintenance, and operation of zero-emissions equipment and infrastructure. The program’s historic investment in zero-emission port technology will promote and ensure the U.S. position as a global leader in clean technologies.

The deadline to apply for the two Clean Ports Program NOFOs is May 28. Eligible applicants can apply for funding through one or both NOFOs.

Zero-Emission Technology Deployment Competition NOFO

Climate and Air Quality Planning Competition NOFO

To learn more about the Clean Ports Program, applicant eligibility, selection process, and informational webinar dates, please visit the Clean Ports Program webpage. Questions may also be directed to CleanPorts@epa.gov.

EPA Announces Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds for Cleanup at Scorpio Recycling Superfund Site in Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:00

NEW YORK  - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Scorpio Recycling, Inc. Superfund site in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico is among the over 100 sites across the country getting more than $1 billion for cleanup projects as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This funding is made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites and continue other cleanups at over 85 Superfund sites.  

Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. These sites can include toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining, and can harm the health and well-being of local communities in urban and rural areas. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site.  

"People living in Puerto Rico have seen firsthand how transformative the Superfund program can be for communities,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia.  “This investment in America and in Puerto Rico builds on the historic progress we have already made in recent years to ensure that communities living near the most serious uncontrolled, or abandoned contaminated sites get the protections they deserve.”   

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues its steadfast support for Puerto Rico in our collaborative efforts to protect our natural resources. Following last week’s announcement of $63.3 million from the EPA for water resources and infrastructure work, today we are pleased to announce another allocation for cleanup at the Scorpio Recycling, Inc Superfund site.  This area, which was a metal recycling facility until 2010 in Toa Baja, is one of the 100 sites across the Nation that will receive more than $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The $3.1 million that EPA is allocating to Puerto Rico will be used to further the cleaning efforts and address contamination at the site. Once again, actions speak louder than words, and my administration will continue working with the federal government to protect our environment and the health of all American citizens living in Puerto Rico, “said Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi.

The Scorpio Recycling Inc. site in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico was a 6-acre metal recycling facility that bought all types of metal and sold it to foundries in the United States, Brazil, Spain and Japan. The facility began operating in 1972. The site was poorly operated, and the soil became contaminated with acids, lead and other metals. EPA has addressed the immediate risks by excavating and removing battery casings, miscellaneous debris, and stabilized soil contamination on portions of the site by treating the soil with trisodium phosphate as a temporary mitigation measure to immobilize the lead. 

EPA BIL funding will be used to install a gravel cover in an industrial area and soil cover in a conservation area of the site.  This work which has an estimated value of $3.1 million and will be the last work planned to address contamination at this site. The work is expected to be fully completed in 2028. 

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites.  

Thanks President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

EPA is committed to advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process.  Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Out of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, more than 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, the investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels. 

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

To see a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, visit EPA’s Superfund webpage.

To see highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, visit EPA’s Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: Highlights of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding website.

For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, visit EPA’s Superfund website

Follow EPA Region 2 on X and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.  

24-18

EPA Announces New Cleanup Projects in Kansas as Part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Agenda

EPA Air - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (FEB. 27, 2024) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a third and final wave of over $1 billion for cleanup projects at more than 100 Superfund sites across the country, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda.

This funding is made possible by the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites, including the Cherokee County Superfund Site in Kansas.

“This historic investment into our communities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide additional funding for the cleanup project at the Cherokee County Superfund Site in southeast Kansas,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “Historic mine waste in the area has contaminated residential and non-residential areas. Cleaning up this site is essential to protecting the health of our communities and the environment.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds have been and continue to be important building blocks to improving the health and quality of drinking water for all Kansans,” said Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Janet Stanek. “The investment in the cleanup at Kansas sites is crucial to improving a sustainable water infrastructure across the state.”

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding announced today, the Cherokee County Superfund Site will have additional funding to continue cleanup projects. The site is a part of the larger, regional mining area known as the Tri-State Mining District. Years of widespread lead and zinc mining have created mine tailings covering over 4,000 acres. The mine tailings have contaminated residential and non-residential soils, surface water, sediment, and groundwater with lead, zinc, and cadmium. Site work is designated to nine operable units with varying work statuses.

In addition to the Cherokee County site and 25 new cleanups announced, today’s investment supports continued construction at a number of other Superfund sites across Kansas:

  • In Wichita, at the 57th and North Broadway Streets Superfund Site, EPA is moving toward the remedial action phase and will install a groundwater extraction/treatment system to treat a contaminated groundwater plume.
  • In Caney, at the Caney Residential Yards Superfund Site, remedial project managers are currently working with community members to gain access to residential properties to facilitate sampling for lead in residential soils and, if a property qualifies, commence with residential property remediation.
  • In Great Bend, at the Plating Inc. Superfund Site, work recently began to address a 2-mile-long groundwater plume that was contaminated with hexavalent chromium. The source of the contaminant plume was from leaking in-ground plating baths and an outside air vent that discharged chrome particulates onto the ground.

Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. These sites can include toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills, and mining, and present risks to human health and the well-being of local communities in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

“After three rounds of investments, EPA is delivering on President Biden’s full promise to invest in cleaning up America’s most contaminated Superfund sites,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “This final round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has made it possible for EPA to initiate clean ups at every single Superfund site where construction work is ready to begin. This is an incredible milestone in our efforts to clean up and protect communities, deliver local jobs, enhance economic activity, and improve people’s lives for years to come.”

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed over $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites. Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years, while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

EPA is committed to continue carrying out this work, advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site. These investments are restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, over 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns, based on data from EPA’s EJScreen.

The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund Program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, this investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate the essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure that communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities, such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels.

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), commonly known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

  • View a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects.
  • View highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites.
  • Learn more about EPA’s Superfund Program.

# # #

Learn more about EPA Region 7

View all Region 7 news releases

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter: @EPARegion7

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $74 Million WIFIA Loan to Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency in Santa Cruz

EPA Air - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans totaling $74 million to the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency in Santa Cruz County, California. EPA’s loan will support alternative water supply projects to reduce the demand for groundwater.

“Investing in local water infrastructure is one of the best bets a community can make to secure a climate resilient future,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Office of Water Bruno Pigott. “Santa Cruz will see firsthand the benefits of EPA’s work to invest in America while creating 500-plus jobs and saving millions of dollars for the community.

In drought-stricken regions, water utilities look for ways to ensure water supplies are resilient. The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency’s Water Sustainability Projects are improving system resilience by investing this WIFIA loan into projects that will provide alternative surface water supplies and reduce demand on the existing groundwater supply by nearly 25% by 2040. They will achieve this by modifying a naturally occurring lake to create a new seasonal surface water source that will be treated and distributed to customers to offset groundwater demand during the summer months and upgrade the existing filter plant and construct a pump station, recharge basin, and associated pipeline. This project will divert water from nearby shallow lake systems, called sloughs, through recharge basins into shallow aquifers. The recharged water will be provided to agricultural customers for irrigation purposes.

“The closing of these two WIFIA loans provides PV Water with the funding necessary to complete the College Lake Project and partially fund the Watsonville Slough System Project, two important water supply projects that will help PV Water achieve sustainable groundwater resources,” said Pajaro Valley Water Board Chair, Amy Newell. 

Since its creation, EPA’s WIFIA program has announced nearly $20 billion in financing to support over $43 billion in water infrastructure projects that are strengthening drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure while creating over 140,000 jobs.

The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency is utilizing the financial flexibilities available with WIFIA loans to help keep rates affordable. By financing its projects with WIFIA loans, they will save $24 million and create over 500 jobs.

Learn more about EPA’s WIFIA Program and water infrastructure investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Background

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.

EPA made the seventh round of WIFIA financing available and is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. $6.5 billion is available through WIFIA, and $1 billion is available through SWIFIA, which is a loan program exclusively for State infrastructure financing authority borrowers. EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. Learn more about submitting a letter of interest for a WIFIA loan.

In addition to WIFIA loans, there are many federal funding resources available for communities and utilities to improve vital water and wastewater resources. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides a historic $50 billion investment in upgrading critical water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

Learn about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on FacebookInstagram, and X.

EPA announces cleanup will begin at the East Troy Contaminated Aquifer Superfund site in Ohio as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda

EPA Air - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:00

CHICAGO (February 27, 2024) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a third and final wave of more than $1 billion for cleanup projects at more than 100 Superfund sites across the country as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This funding is made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites, including the East Troy Contaminated Aquifer Superfund site in Troy, Ohio.  

“After three rounds of investments, EPA is delivering on President Biden’s full promise to invest in cleaning up America’s most contaminated Superfund sites,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “This final round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has made it possible for EPA to initiate clean ups at every single Superfund site where construction work is ready to begin. This is an incredible milestone in our efforts to clean up and protect communities, deliver local jobs, enhance economic activity, and improve people’s lives for years to come.”   

“Getting legacy contamination out of communities is at the core of EPA’s mission,” said Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Thanks to the President's Investing in America agenda, EPA has the resources to clean up these sites much faster than we otherwise could.” 

"Ohio appreciates U.S. EPA’s investment at the East Troy Contaminated Aquifer site," said Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel.  "This money will go towards cleanup and protecting drinking water for families that live in the area." 

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding announced today, cleanup will begin at the East Troy Contaminated Aquifer Superfund site. The funding will be used for the excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil at the East Water Street source area of the site. This will also prevent migration of contamination to potential drinking water sources. Volatile organic compounds contaminated groundwater, soil and indoor air in some homes and businesses. In 2007, EPA installed vapor abatement systems in 16 homes and an elementary school to address the indoor air health risk in the area.  

In addition to the new cleanup announced, today’s investment supports continued cleanup work at the Little Scioto River Superfund site in Ohio.   

  • The Little Scioto River Superfund site is an 8.5-mile stretch located just west of Marion. BIL funding will be used to clean up 3.5-miles of the river. Nearly 5-miles have already been cleaned during two removal actions at site in June 2002 and May 2006, removing a combined total of over 48,000 cubic yards of creosote contaminated waste and sediment.  

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites.  Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

EPA is committed to continuing to carry out this work advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site. These investments are restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Out of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, more than 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN.  

The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, the investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels. 

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

To see a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-new-construction-projects-receive-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding  

To see highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, visit EPA’s Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: Highlights of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding website.  

For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, visit EPA’s Superfund website.  

### 

EPA and DOJ file complaint against Bruneau, Idaho, ranch alleging significant violations that threaten fisheries, wetlands and wildlife areas

EPA Air - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, Feb. 27, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against Ace Black Ranches LLP of Bruneau, Idaho, alleging significant violations of the Clean Water Act affecting the Bruneau River in Idaho.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, alleges that Ace Black Ranches illegally discharged fill material to the Bruneau River and adjacent wetlands, significantly threatening fisheries, neighboring properties and downstream communities. The illegal activities include mining and processing gravel extracted from the river and using heavy equipment to clear and level dozens of acres of wetlands – all without permits required by the Clean Water Act.

“The complaint in this case alleges that Ace Black1 Ranches treated the Bruneau River and state-owned wetlands along the river as private property that could be damaged or destroyed for sand and gravel mining, without any effort to comply with the requirements of the Clean Water Act that protects our Nation’s waters from such abuses,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA will hold companies accountable when they seek to profit from conducting illegal activities in American rivers and streams, destroying adjacent wetlands that protect those waters from pollution, and threatening fisheries, neighboring properties, and downstream communities.”

“Wetlands play critical roles in our ecosystems and serve as buffers to climate change,” said Casey Sixkiller, Regional Administrator of EPA’s Region 10 office in Seattle. “Enforcement actions like this are clear reminders that EPA and its federal and state partners will enforce the law to protect increasingly valuable and fragile water resources that we all hold in common and rely upon.”

During inspections of the property, review of historical aerial imagery and through other available information, representatives from EPA observed and documented sand and gravel mining, processing and hauling equipment located on the site; heavy machinery tracks and evidence of mechanical scraping, pushing or pulling, in and next to the Bruneau River and adjacent wetlands; and large piles of sand and gravel near the Bruneau River, along its banks and in adjacent wetlands. EPA representatives also collected evidence of wetland clearing, grading and filling to install and operate center-pivot irrigation systems at the property, construction of roads in the Bruneau River and adjacent wetlands, and placing fill material in the river and along its banks.

The complaint alleges that all these activities were unauthorized and caused significant damage to fish and wildlife habitat in and adjacent to the Bruneau River, including at land owned by the state of Idaho within the C.J. Strike Wildlife Management Area, which provides hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities.

EPA first learned of the alleged violations via a complaint from a member of the public to the state of Idaho regarding roads built across the Bruneau River.

The Bruneau River and its adjacent wetlands are considered "waters of the United States" and are subject to protection under the Clean Water Act. Activities that discharge pollutants to rivers and the adjacent wetlands require Clean Water Act permits.

1  Ace Black Ranch spelling correction

EPA announces cleanup will begin at the Velsicol Chemical Corporation in Michigan as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda

EPA Air - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:00

CHICAGO (February 27, 2024) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a third and final wave of more than $1 billion for cleanup projects at more than 100 Superfund sites across the country as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This funding is made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites, including the Velsicol Chemical Corporation in St. Louis, Michigan.  

“After three rounds of investments, EPA is delivering on President Biden’s full promise to invest in cleaning up America’s most contaminated Superfund sites,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “This final round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has made it possible for EPA to initiate clean ups at every single Superfund site where construction work is ready to begin. This is an incredible milestone in our efforts to clean up and protect communities, deliver local jobs, enhance economic activity, and improve people’s lives for years to come.”   

“Getting legacy contamination out of communities is at the core of EPA’s mission,” said Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Thanks to the President's Investing in America agenda, EPA has the resources to clean up these sites much faster than we otherwise could.” 

“Decades later, we are still fighting to reverse the immense environmental and public health damage that came from the PBB disaster of 1973, as well as the use of other harmful contaminants like DTT,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters. “That’s why I’m thrilled to announce this investment that I fought to secure in the bipartisan infrastructure law, which will provide critical support for cleanup efforts at the Velsicol Chemical Superfund site in St. Louis and long-overdue relief to the local community.” 

“Michigan is thankful to the U.S. EPA for this critical federal investment to help St. Louis and Michigan communities remove decades-old legacy contaminants from the Velsicol Chemical Corporation,” said Michigan Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Director Phil Roos. “This investment will support important ongoing activities to protect public health and the environment and ecosystem along the Pine River.” 

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, cleanup will begin at Velsicol Chemical Corporation Superfund site. to remediate an area located at the St. Louis hydroelectric dam to 1.5 miles downstream within the Pine River. Cleanup includes excavation, off-site disposal, and restoration of streambanks and four floodplains with DDT contamination. The volume is estimated to be over 20,000 cubic yards.  

In addition to the new cleanup announced, today’s investment supports continued cleanup work at the Tar Lake Superfund site, Charlevoix Municipal Well Superfund site, and the DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant Superfund site in Michigan.  

  • The Tar Lake Superfund site is an approximate 234-acres near Mancelona, Michigan, that was formerly occupied by Antrim Iron Works that manufactured iron using the hardwood charcoal method from about 1882 to 1945. BIL funding will be used to engage the United States Army Corps of Engineers to excavate and dispose approximately 215,000 tons of contaminated soil and improve the groundwater remediation system with a new energy efficient air compressor and 28 new wells.  

  • The Charlevoix Municipal Well Superfund site includes multiple contaminant sources in the central portion of the city of Charlevoix. BIL funding will be used to install mitigation systems, demolish buildings and excavation and dispose soils off-site. 

  • The DSC McLouth Steel Gibraltar Plant Superfund site operated as a steel finishing operation from the 1950s until 1996 about 25-miles south of Detroit. The funding will be used to monitor, pump, and dispose of containments from ponds associated with Landfills A & B to prevent the overflow of hazardous waste into the surrounding drainage system that leads to surface waters. The hazardous liquid is mixed with stormwater in a treatment pond to reduce the pH to non-hazardous levels before being sent to an EPA-approved off-site disposal facility. An estimated 1.5 million gallons of liquid/stormwater mixture will be pumped, transported, and disposed of off-site during 2024. 

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites. Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 
 

EPA is committed to continuing to carry out this work advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site. These investments are restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Out of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, more than 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN.  

The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, the investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels. 

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

To see a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-new-construction-projects-receive-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding  

To see highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, visit EPA’s Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: Highlights of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding website.  

For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, visit EPA’s Superfund website.  

### 

EPA announces cleanup will begin at the Asarco Taylor Springs Superfund site in Illinois as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda

EPA Air - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 19:00

CHICAGO (February 27, 2024) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a third and final wave of more than $1 billion for cleanup projects at more than 100 Superfund sites across the country as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This funding is made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites, including the Asarco Taylor Springs Superfund site in Taylor Springs, Ill.   

“After three rounds of investments, EPA is delivering on President Biden’s full promise to invest in cleaning up America’s most contaminated Superfund sites,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “This final round of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding has made it possible for EPA to initiate clean ups at every single Superfund site where construction work is ready to begin. This is an incredible milestone in our efforts to clean up and protect communities, deliver local jobs, enhance economic activity, and improve people’s lives for years to come.”   

“Getting legacy contamination out of communities is at the core of EPA’s mission,” said Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Thanks to the President's Investing in America agenda, EPA has the resources to clean up these sites much faster than we otherwise could.”  

“Alongside Illinois’ rich industrial history lies the sobering reality of polluted sites that pose significant risks to public health and the environment,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “This federal funding is critical in our mission to restore contaminated sites for the benefit of every Illinois resident and safeguard the surrounding ecosystems.” 

“I’m proud to see the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is continuing to support critical projects throughout Illinois, and I’m pleased this Superfund site in Montgomery County, Illinois, will benefit,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth. “Eliminating contaminated sites is an important part of protecting the health of children and families, and it is also a necessary part of helping spur development, job creation and economic growth for affected communities. I’ll keep working to help ensure that all Illinoisans can breathe clean air and live in a safe environment without fear of toxins and pollution.” 

“Rehabilitating polluted properties is critical in our efforts to revitalize underserved communities and drive economic growth,” said Rep. Nikki Budzinski. “In Springfield, the Moving Pillsbury Forward project has shown us the promise that Superfund site resources have in transforming neighborhoods that have been left behind for too long. That’s why I’m thrilled to see $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law headed to Superfund sites across the country – including a project in Southern Illinois – to ensure that more communities get the attention and remediation that they deserve.”  

“Illinois EPA is pleased to see this federal funding being directly applied to the Asarco Superfund site in Taylor Springs, Illinois,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.  “With no required state match, 100 percent of this funding will go directly to remediating this site, which is a win for Illinois residents.” 

Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding announced today, cleanup will begin at the Asarco Taylor Springs Superfund site. EPA completed the remedial investigation and feasibility study phase of the Superfund process in 2021 and issued a proposed cleanup plan for public comment in June 2021. Funding will be used to remediate lead- contaminated soil, process residues, and groundwater at the site. For the residential areas, this involves the excavation of contaminated soil and backfilling with clean soil.  At the former smelter property, cleanup includes excavation of source materials and lake dams and spillways repair to prevent release of contaminated material and protect aquatic habitat. 

In addition to the new cleanup announced, today’s investment supports continued cleanup work at the Ottawa Radiation Areas Superfund site and Matthiessen and Hegeler Zinc Co. Superfund site in Illinois.  

  • The Ottawa Radiation Areas site includes a total of 16 areas in and around Ottawa that were contaminated with radium. Radioactive-contaminated soils down to 10 feet deep will be excavated and shipped to a disposal facility. Remediation of the last area of contamination will allow EPA to pursue deletion of the site from the National Priority List of Superfund sites and provide for redevelopment in the future. 

  • The Matthiessen and Hegeler Zinc Co. in La Salle smelted zinc from 1858 through 1961. The additional funding will be used to continue to remediate contaminated soil found in residential yards. The remediation includes excavation and on-site disposal within a containment cell. 

Today’s investment is the final wave of funding from the $3.5 billion allocated for Superfund cleanup work in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. So far, EPA has deployed more than $2 billion for cleanup activities at more than 150 Superfund National Priorities List sites.  Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to addressing legacy pollution and improving public health, EPA has been able to provide as much funding for cleanup work in the past two years as it did in the previous five years while delivering on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. 

EPA is committed to continuing to carry out this work advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. More than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans live within three miles of a Superfund site. These investments are restoring the health and economic vitality of communities that have been exposed to pervasive legacy pollution. Thus far, nearly 80% of the funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has gone to sites in communities with potential environmental justice concerns. Out of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, more than 75% are in communities with potential environmental justice concerns based on data from EJSCREEN.  

The historic investment made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law strengthens every part of the Superfund program, making a dramatic difference in EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment. In addition to funding cleanup construction work, the investment is enabling EPA to increase funding for and accelerate essential work needed to prepare sites for construction and to ensure communities are meaningfully involved in the cleanup process. In 2023, EPA continued to fund Superfund pre-construction activities such as remedial investigations, feasibility studies, remedial designs, and community involvement at double pre-Bipartisan Infrastructure Law levels. 

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA), known as Superfund. The law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, EPA steps in to address risks to human health and the environment using funds appropriated by Congress, like the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

To see a list of the 25 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-new-construction-projects-receive-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding  

To see highlights from the first two years of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding at Superfund sites, visit EPA’s Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: Highlights of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding website.  

For more information about EPA’s Superfund program, visit EPA’s Superfund website.  

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