Frequent Questions

What happens during the long-term clean up of a site?

During the long-term cleanup of a Superfund site, a detailed study of the site identifies the causes and extent of the contamination, the possible threats to the environment and the people nearby, and the options for cleaning it up.

EPA uses this information to develop a Proposed Plan, which describes the various cleanup options under consideration and identifies the option EPA prefers. EPA invites community members to a public meeting to express their views and to discuss the plan with EPA officials.

Once the public's concerns are addressed, EPA publishes a Record of Decision (ROD), which describes how the Agency plans to clean up the site.

Next, the cleanup method is designed to address the unique conditions at the site where it will be used. The design and actual cleanup is conducted by EPA, the state, or by the parties responsible for the contamination. When the design is completed, EPA prepares and distributes a fact sheet to the community describing the design and the action that will take place at the site.

Some sites, due to the extent of contamination, will never return to the way they were prior to the pollution. However, EPA monitors the site to make sure that it is safe for the people living around the site both now and in the future.


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