As part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, the Environmental Protection Agency created the categorization of Superfund sites. As a federal program, the aim is to identify sites in the United States that have been abandoned and are deemed to have significant amounts of hazardous waste, primarily in the form of water or soil contamination. As a result, the EPA has funds for such clean-up efforts. As noted on the EPA website clean-up is complex and involves assessment, placement on the national priorities list, establishing a plan, and implementing a plan (EPA, 2014a). The process can be described as collaborative and involves relevant communities, the state, and the responsible parties, where relevant.
All 50 States and the District of Columbia are sectioned and administered by ten regional offices. Under each regional office there is a list of current issues labelled as Superfund sites. Each site is catalogued and includes details about the nature of the polluted area, the city location, the site name. The types of sites range from landfill, varying spills, fires, test sites, mines, etc.
For this paper the selected state is Washington, which is listed under the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Superfund. Washington state has 120 active sites that are in need of treatment. The selected site is Junior’s Trucking near Seattle (EPA, 2014b). The issue is a tire fire that occurred on May 10, 2005. The run off from the burning tires (described as pyrolytic runoff) were entering a stream which fed into the Duwamish river. As such, it qualified as a Superfund site. The organizations involved with the cleanup included the Washington State Department of Ecology, State Patrol, King County Fire District, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and King County enforcement personnel.
The Pollution Report (EPA, 2014c) indicated that nearly 4, 000 tires were burned and that the cause was arson. The owner of the land was listed as Joe Anderson from which Junior’s Trucking had a lease on a parcel of the land.
Actions taken were immediately, and started after the fire had been extinguished. An estimated 500, 000 gallons of water had been used. Reconnaissance of the meeting point between the creek and river revealed no visible damage. Water samples were taken from the site and analyzed for metals, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, and other materials. Physical cleanup was ongoing and tire piles were examined to ensure all hazardous materials were removed. Lab results of the water samples revealed high concentrations of organics.
No data was available on costs of the clean-up. The subsequent actions are to collect and dispose any further hazardous materials and to remove contaminated water from on-site collection ponds and storm drains. Finally, an assessment of any soil contamination is to be performed, and removed as necessary. Ongoing cooperation between the owner and the Department of Ecology is expected.
No date is given on the end date of the clean-up.
. Works Cited
Environmental Protection Agency (2014a). Superfund, About. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Environmental Protection Agency (2014b) On Scene Co-ordinator. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Environmental Protection Agency (2014c). Pollution Report. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.