The Superfund program was established in 1980 with the passage of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). This law established a cleanup process for abandoned hazardous waste sites as well as a cleanup fund (Superfund) to address the cleanup of abandoned sites where no responsible and solvent party could be found. The Superfund program is implemented as a federal/state partnership, with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) having primary responsibility. The Superfund program is a detailed and complex remediation program, with a series of steps and procedures to evaluate and rank sites. Certain sites are then added to the National Priorities List (NPL), based upon the hazard ranking score and other factors. For Michigan sites on the NPL, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is responsible for financing 10 percent of the cost of remedial action while the federal government is responsible for the remaining 90 percent. In addition to the EPA, the MDEQ has some oversight authority on Superfund sites in Michigan. Sites are not eligible for deletion from the NPL until the EPA determines that no further response is required to protect human health and the environment and specific criteria have been met.
In addition to overseeing the long-term cleanup of abandoned hazardous waste sites, the Superfund program also encompasses emergency response and removal actions in order to provide rapid response to releases and incidents involving hazardous substances. For the State of Michigan, the Emergency and Rapid Response Services are managed by EPA Region 5 based in Chicago, Illinois.
Should you have questions regarding CERCLA, the NPL, cleanup projects managed under Superfund, or emergency response and removal actions, please contact us.