What Is Superfund?
In 1980, the U.S. Congress established the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), better known as Superfund. This law was passed in response to the indiscriminant disposal of the by-products of industrial life, which contaminated soil and water, resulting in threats to public health and the environment. The federal law provided both response and funding mechanisms for the cleanup of hazardous substance disposal sites. The Superfund section is designed to investigate and clean up contaminated property where releases of hazardous substances have occurred in the past or are threatening to occur due to past practice. The federal law requires the past polluters, called responsible parties, to pay for the cleanup. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Superfund Section has responsibility for many of these sites. To contact the Superfund Section, call 573- 751-4187.
In June 1983, a state Superfund bill (Chapters 260.440 through 260.475 RSMo) was approved in Missouri. The law authorized the establishment of emergency response activities in the state to respond to hazardous substance releases. The law also created a Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund to be used for the implementation of these programs and other expenditures, such as financing the non-federal share of cleanups and the investigation and assessment of potential hazardous waste sites. Each January, the department presents a full account of the Hazardous Waste Remedial Fund to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Commission. Finally, the law directed the department to prepare a Registry of Confirmed Abandoned or Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in Missouri (PUB 337).