The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

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The superfund program, which was better known as just the superfund, is also known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability act (CERLA) of 1980 was developed by the federal government as a way to preserve the ecosystem and to clean up toxic, uncontrolled, abandoned hazardous waste sites. The Superfund program cleans up any hazardous waste, be it abandoned, accidentally spilled, or illegally dumped; any of which may pose a threat to future or current health or the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency works with the community, the responsible parties or the potential responsible party in identifying these hazardous waste sites in formulating plans to clean up these sites. Superfund provides laws and standards for the disposal and storage of such wastes. The superfund program also provides emergency funding to existing environmental agencies to monitor disposal of toxins, and to provide emergency cleanup services, provide monetary compensation to people who faced health or financial difficulties and concerns from toxic waste, and, if needed, to help enact emergency evacuation procedures. Superfund also provides for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites, and can establish a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified. The National Priorities List, or NPL, is a list of the worst hazardous waste sites that have been identified by Superfund. Any site on the NPL is eligible for cleanup using Superfund Trust money.
One particular site on the NPL is the Smokey Mountain Smelters Superfund Site, which was listed on the NPL on September 27, 2010. Smokey Mountain Smelters is located at 150...


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...o clean up the property under the Superfund program. The first phase of the cleanup began several months ago and involves the removal of 2,700 cubic yards of aluminum dross, and a large processing building that has collapsed. Removal of the dross and the building is projected to cost up to $3 million, all in federal funds. With the declaration that the site has been added to the National Priorities List, the second phase shall consist of dealing with 75,000 cubic yards of aluminum salt cake left over from the agriculture operation. The EPA will come up with a plan on how to proceed, but warned that it could take years before cleanup begins. Options include trucking the waste off the site for disposal or building an encapsulation cell on the property. The federal government would pay 90 percent of the cost, while the state would come up with the other 10 percent.


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