Superfund is the common name for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980. This law was designed to create a mechanism and funding source for the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances. In many cases, such as this one, the contaminated site was a landfill or some other waste disposal site. Several importanthagnes were made to CERCLA with the passage of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. These changes included an increase in funding and the use of new technologies for studies.
Five private firms and the City of New York were identified as PRP’s – that is Potentially Responsible Parties – for this site. They are responsible to conduct an investigation of the site under EPA’s oversight, pay EPA $750,000 for its previous work at the site, and reimburse the Agency for any oversight costs. A PRP is an entity that has been identified as a potential contributor to the contamination and may be held liable for the cleanup of a contaminated property. PRP’s may include:
- The current owner or operator of the site.
- The owner or operator of a site at the time of disposal of any hazardous substance.
- A person who arranged for the disposal or treatment of a hazardous substance at the site. Or, arranged for transportation of a hazardous substance to the site.
- A person who transported a hazardous substance to a site they selected.
While the first two bullet points may preclude you from ever buying a landfill or treatment facility, the last two should be a wake-up call to a facility that ships any waste, but especially hazardous waste, off-site for disposal. A generator of hazardous waste may be responsible under Superfund even if its disposal was in compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations at the time. Approximately 70% of Superfund cleanup activities have been funded by PRP’s.
I cover topics such as selection and auditing of a waste generator’s Transfer, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF) in my public training events. I also include EPA guidance on auditing TSDF’s and a hardcopy of a TSDF audit form as part of the training materials provided to attendees. Much more information of a very practical and useful nature is provided as well as fulfilling the EPA training requirements found at 40 CFR 262.34(a)(4) and 40 CFR 265.16.
The second half of the day’s training fulfills the triennial training requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation for HazMat Employees. I guarantee you will find this day of training useful and informative.