As public concern over uncontrolled hazardous waste disposal increased in the 1970’s, the United States Federal government responded with several groundbreaking regulations including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), informally known as “Superfund.”
The Superfund program was created not only to restore the nation’s most contaminated land, but to transform the communities and people who live there. Superfund ensures responsible parties are held liable for the damages they inflict on the environment and human health. This act gives EPA the funds and authority to clean up the sites when no responsible party can be identified and to respond quickly to national environmental emergencies.
Shortly after the regulations were passed in 1980, the EPA successfully responded to the “Valley of the Drums” site in Kentucky, a 23-acre site that was used for waste disposal and drum recycling from 1967-1977. Since then a National Priorities List (NPL) was created to classify and prioritize sites that may qualify for long-term clean-up actions financed by the Superfund. Common contaminants found at Superfund sites include lead, asbestos, dioxin, and radiation.
Today the EPA oversees hundreds of site assessments, cleanups, changes to plans and 5 year reviews each year to ensure the health of the people and the land of rural and urban communities across the country are protected.
In the Fall Creek wellfield in Marion County, Indiana the Keystone Corridor Ground Water Contamination site is a designated Superfund site. Groundwater has been affected by an approximately 4,500‑foot long by 1,500-foot wide plume (or underground mass) contaminated with chlorinated solvents located near the intersection of East Fall Creek Parkway North Drive and Keystone Avenue. Remediation began in 2019 and continues to date. View detailed information about the Keystone Corridor Ground Water Contamination from the EPA.
To learn more about the latest EPA efforts across the country, check out the FY2021 Superfund Accomplishments Report.