Treatment Projects Applied to 62 Percent of Superfund Sites
On March 10, 2004 EPA released a report showing that Superfund treatment projects either in progress or completed increased to 791 in 2003 from 629 projects in 2000 Unlike traditional Superfund cleanup remedies, treatment methods, such as bioremediation (the use of living organisms to clean up environmental contaminants) destroy harmful chemicals or change them into less harmful ones. The report also shows that the use of innovative "in situ" remedies (cleanup methods that treat soil and groundwater without having to extract them from the ground) has been increasing. The analyses of Records of Decision (ROD) documented in the report shows that more complex, multi-media sites are being addressed in recent years. For example, remedies in RODs are more likely to address both contaminated groundwater and soil at a single site. (A ROD is a public document that explains which cleanup alternatives will be used to clean up a Superfund site.) Over the history of the Superfund program, treatment remedies have been applied to clean up soil or groundwater at 62 percent of sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). The report documents the application of innovative technologies in Superfund sites to help decision-makers better evaluate the effectiveness of different cleanup options. Copies of "Treatment Technologies for Site Cleanup: Annual Status Report, Eleventh Edition (EPA 542-R-03-009)" can be downloaded or ordered at http://www.cluin.org/asr. The online version includes new downloadable spreadsheets with the data for several of the key charts and figures in the report. Specific information on each technology application has been incorporated into the on-line technology database available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/asr/. For more information on treatment and other cleanup methods, read "EPA's Citizens Guides on Cleanup Methods" at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/remedytech/pubitech.htm.