NGWA sent comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after the EPA announced on March 31 its intent to delete four Superfund sites and partially delete six others from the National Priorities List (NPL).
The NPL is an appendix of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (commonly called the National Contingency Plan or NCP). NGWA raised concerns about EPA’s action in cases involving sites in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia.
NGWA’s concerns in its response sent on May 2 focus on the EPA’s Superfund site delisting protocols. NGWA stated that the notice of proposed deletion and delisting of Superfund sites from the NPL should present a substantive summary statement of the remedial activity and monitoring results for each site.
The delisting notice only indicates that all required steps have been taken to protect public health and the environment but does not indicate in at least four of the 10 sites that institutional controls on the use of groundwater prevent the resource from being used indefinitely with site status reviewed every five years.
However, the NCP states at Section 300.430 Remedial investigation/feasibility study and selection of remedy (a) (1) (iii) (D) that: “The use of institutional controls shall not substitute for active response measures” and (F) “EPA expects to return usable groundwaters to their beneficial uses wherever practicable, within a timeframe that is reasonable.” No timeframes, though, are given to the public, particularly to the affected communities, relative to the ability to use the remediated water safely.
NGWA’s comments requested the notice of proposed deletion state:
- What contaminants impact the sites
- What technologies have been applied and what are the results achieved
- When the sites are forecast to be remediated to return the resource to beneficial use and provide water supply resilience for the communities affected
- What post-deletion treatment, monitoring, and reporting are scheduled.