- The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program has officially added 10 new sites to the National Priorities List and proposed an additional eight sites, as reported by Environmental Leader.
- More than 850 of the total 1,388 uncontrolled hazardous waste sites now have some form of current or planned reuse. EPA reviews have shown that these sites can increase tax revenue and create jobs during and after cleanup.
- The EPA recently released new guidance on its green cleanup principles which can be more environmentally beneficial and save contractors money. Recommended methods include using energy-efficient construction equipment, working with sustainable materials and minimizing water use.
While Superfund sites are often thought of as irrevocably blighted areas, the EPA has been working to show the economic benefits they can provide. In addition to the core goal of protecting public health and the environment, these cleanups can make the land usable for new homes or businesses. One study found that cleaning up brownfield sites in Youngstown, OH increased local property values by 18%.
The latest additions to the Superfund list include properties in nine different states and Puerto Rico that were used for a variety of industrial applications, none with a direct link to waste and recycling. The eight additional sites that have been proposed include a battery recycling facility in Puerto Rico and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Hoosick Falls, NY.
Alleged contamination of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and other potentially harmful chemicals from Saint-Gobain has led to increased scrutiny in the region recently. A Vermont landfill was also found to have elevated levels of PFOA in July.