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Partnerships in Lead Cleanups


States play a major role in determining who should lead most site cleanups and EPA obtains state agreement on cleanup decisions. Under Superfund, historic releases from many different types of sites with lead contamination can be addressed. Many states and tribes have their own cleanup programs, and sometimes perform initial site assessments and manage some cleanups. When states or tribes lack the resources to address sites or do not have their own cleanup program, they typically request EPA assistance with site cleanup. When EPA leads cleanup efforts under Superfund, state agreement is obtained for cleanup actions.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides site-specific advice for sites on the National Priorities List (NPL), makes recommendations for placement of certain high-risk sites to the NPL, and may conduct blood lead level studies of populations near Superfund sites where lead is a contaminant of concern. ATSDR also funds state or local health agencies to conduct studies of blood lead levels near Superfund sites. The independent work of ASTDR has been very useful in showing that Superfund site cleanups have contributed to lowering blood lead levels.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Develops programs and policies to prevent childhood lead poisoning
  • Educates the public and health-care providers about childhood lead poisoning
  • Provides funding to state and local health departments to determine the extent of childhood lead poisoning by screening children for elevated blood lead levels, helping to ensure that lead-poisoned infants and children receive medical and environmental follow-up, and developing neighborhood-based efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning
  • Supports research to determine the effectiveness of prevention efforts at federal, state, and local levels.

The CDC’s Healthy Homes Initiative is a coordinated, comprehensive, and holistic approach to preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards and deficiencies. The Healthy Homes Initiative seeks to broaden the scope of single-issue public health programs, such as childhood lead poisoning prevention and asthma programs, to address multiple housing deficiencies that affect health and safety.

Community Involvement

EPA’s Superfund Community Involvement program advocates for and strengthens early and meaningful community participation during Superfund cleanups. Community members can often provide information about exposures to contaminants that can help refine site-specific risk assessments

EPA Science Advisory Board

As with many decisions involving the integration of complex and significant issues, EPA has sought support from the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) to provide independent peer reviewed recommendations on EPA proposals for addressing lead cleanups. The SAB's advice has helped to guide consideration of all available information, including CDC's recommendations for physicians on blood lead levels, and the risk assessment models used to establish cleanup levels.

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