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WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Thursday that it will add 12 new toxic waste sites for prioritized cleanup under its “Superfund” program. The new sites are located all over the country, including new sites in Massachusetts, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Oregon.
The Superfund toxic waste cleanup program was established in 1980 to address the country’s most dangerous and polluted toxic waste sites. Compared to the 12 sites added to the list this March, only four new sites were added to the National Priorities List in all of 2021. Currently, there are 1,334 sites on the National Priorities List, which are located in nearly all 50 states. Of these sites, 78.5% have been on the list for more than 20 years.
U.S. PIRG Make Polluters Pay Campaign Associate Jillian Gordner issued the following statement:
“A lack of funding has held back EPA’s Superfund toxic waste cleanup program for decades. With new funding from the reinstated ‘polluter pays’ tax under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have the opportunity to speed up cleanups and protect Americans from deadly toxic waste. While it’s good news that the EPA is adding new sites for federal cleanup, we still need to dedicate the necessary funding and attention to ensure that these toxic waste sites are cleaned up in a timely manner rather than decades in the future.”
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