Frequent Questions

What are states doing to help clean up Superfund sites?

Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), EPA is required to involve states in the Superfund Process. States are given the opportunity to:

  • Concur on the listing of a site to the National Priorities List (NPL) prior to proposal.
  • Concur on the Record of Decision (ROD) prior to signature by EPA;
  • Take the lead on negotiations with the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) or lead the cleanup themselves.

States must provide at least 10% of the cost of cleanup if the Superfund Trust Fund is being used to cleanup the site, and are also required to perform any long-term operation and maintenance of the remedy.

In addition, states may participate in a deferral program that encourages qualified states and tribes to address, using their own laws, hazardous waste sites that are currently being considered for the Federal National Priorities List (NPL). The goal of the deferral program is to accelerate cleanup, minimize duplication of Federal and state efforts, and to encourage PRPs to participate in the cleanup.

Sites proposed for deferral must be included in EPA's Superfund Enterprise Management System (SEMS). States are responsible for acquiring the necessary resources to conduct the cleanup because Superfund resources will not be made available for such activities. However, under limited circumstances, states may receive funds through cooperative agreements to conduct site-specific activity or to develop their capability to participate in the deferral program.

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