DALLAS – Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the list of Superfund sites that Administrator Pruitt has targeted for immediate and intense attention, including the San Jacinto Waste Pits site in Houston, Texas. The 21 sites on the list – from across the United States – are in direct response to the Superfund Task Force Recommendations, issued this summer, calling for this list.
“By elevating these sites we are sending a message that EPA is, in fact, restoring its Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency’s mission,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Getting toxic land sites cleaned up and revitalized is of the utmost importance to the communities across the country that are affected by these sites. I have charged the Superfund Task Force staff to immediately and intently develop plans for each of these sites to ensure they are thoughtfully addressed with urgency. By getting these sites cleaned up, EPA will continue to focus on ways we can directly improve public health and the environment for people across America.”
In developing this initial list, EPA considered sites that will benefit from Administrator Pruitt’s direct engagement and have identifiable actions to protect human health and the environment. These are sites requiring timely resolution of specific issues to expedite cleanup and redevelopment efforts. The list is designed to spur action at sites where opportunities exist to act quickly and comprehensively. The Administrator will receive regular updates on each of these sites.
The list is intended to be dynamic. Sites will move on and off the list as appropriate. At times, there may be more or fewer sites based on where the Administrator’s attention and focus is most needed. There is no commitment of additional funding associated with a site’s inclusion on the list.
EPA remains dedicated to addressing risks at all Superfund sites, not just those on the list. The Task Force Recommendations are aimed at expediting cleanup at all Superfund sites and Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country.
The Task Force, whose work is ongoing, has five overarching goals:
- Expediting cleanup and remediation;
- Reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties;
- Encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse;
- Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization; and
- Engaging with partners and stakeholders.
The Task Force will provide the public with regular updates as it makes progress on the Administrator’s Emphasis list and other Task Force activities
The list of sites can be found here.
EPA added the San Jacinto Waste Pits site to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites in 2008, after testing revealed contamination from dioxins and furans near the waste pits. The Superfund site consists of two sets of impoundments, or pits, built in the mid-1960s for disposing solid and liquid pulp and paper mill wastes that are contaminated with polychlorinated dibenzo‑p‑dioxins (dioxins) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (furans). EPA is the lead agency for addressing the site and ensuring that the potentially responsible party cleans up the contamination, with support from several state partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
More information about the site is available at https://www.epa.gov/tx/sjrwp