Frequent Questions

What happens to sites that are not emergencies?

EPA's decision that a site does not pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment (i.e. an emergency) does not automatically mean that the site doesn't need to be cleaned up. EPA places the worst sites on the National Priorities List (NPL) and takes long-term remedial actions at these sites. However, many of the hazardous waste sites that are assessed by EPA do not meet the criteria for Federal Superfund cleanup action either under the removal program (i.e. an emergency situation) or the remedial program (i.e. listing on the NPL). Some sites do not require any action, while others are referred to the states, other programs, other agencies or individuals for cleanup, or other action.

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