Superfund Progress Contributes to Healthy Communities, Yearly Analysis Shows
David Deegan, 202-564-7839 / email@example.com
(Washington, D.C.-November 15, 2004) EPA has demonstrated significant progress cleaning up America's most high-priority contaminated sites in the national Superfund program, an annual summary of accomplishments released today shows.
The summary, covering Fiscal Year 2004 (which ended on Sept. 30), confirms that EPA completed work at 40 sites, for a cumulative total of 926 sites having been completed - fully 61 percent of the top priority sites ranked on the National Priorities List (NPL). Last year, EPA conducted 678 ongoing cleanup projects at 428 sites (includes EPA lead, Potentially Responsible Party lead and Federal Facility sites). EPA funded new work at 27 projects across the country - 18 more new projects than the previous year. Superfund also continued to prepare for future cleanup efforts by listing 11 new sites and proposing 26 sites to be added to the NPL.
"EPA continues to clean up sites that pose immediate threats to human health and to the environment," said Thomas P. Dunne, EPA's Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "We give top priority to sites that pose the greatest risk."
As the Superfund program matures, so too does the size, complexity and cost of sites under or ready to begin construction. In the year that ended on Sept. 30, more than 52 percent of the budget for long-term, ongoing cleanup work was committed to just nine sites. Despite these constraints on Superfund resources, EPA was able to provide $104 million to start cleanup work at 27 projects across the country - 18 more projects than last year.
Underscoring EPA's commitment to the "polluter pays" principle, the Agency secured $680 million in cleanup commitments and cost recoveries from the parties responsible for toxic waste sites.
To help address funding challenges, in the FY 2004 and FY 2005 budget requests, the Bush Administration has asked for a $150 million increase above the FY 2003 budget.
More information on EPA's latest Superfund accomplishments is available on the Superfund Web site.