Hazardous Waste Program
Superfund - Remedial Project Management Unit
After a site has been evaluated and ranked or recommended for the NPL, the EPA and Department of Natural Resources work together to begin negotiations for cleaning up the site. In Superfund, the parties responsible for contaminating the site are required to pay for the cleanup. Since the sites have been abandoned or are uncontrolled, or the contamination occurred a long time ago, it is often difficult to locate the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). The PRP search is one of the first steps toward cleanup. Further investigation, sampling and study must be done to characterize the site and to plan for the cleanup. Seriously contaminated sites and sites with groundwater contamination are generally placed on the NPL. Superfund sites are usually large areas or are very seriously contaminated. Consequently, it is time consuming and costly to clean up a Superfund site. Studies are performed to locate all soil and groundwater contamination and to determine which method of cleanup will be most effective for ensuring protection of human health and the environment. EPA and DNR work toward agreement on selecting the best cleanup method for each site. PRPs are responsible for paying for studying and cleaning up sites, with EPA and DNR supervision. If there are no PRPs for a site, federal Superfund dollars finance the work, which DNR matches by 10 percent. For some sites requiring urgent response due to high risks, a Removal Action is performed, which is paid for entirely with federal funds or by PRPs. After sites are cleaned up, groundwater samples are taken periodically and site conditions are monitored to ensure that the cleanup was effective in controlling problems at the site. The Remedial Project Management Unit (RPMU) also provides advice and oversees cleanups conducted by state agencies that own contaminated property. In most cases, contaminated state-owned properties are brought back into a productive use after cleanup.
For current information on many of the Hazardous Waste sites the Superfund Section works on, an EPA website provides a look at their list of Superfund sites.