CERCLA Superfund

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The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund)

42 U.S.C. s/s 9601 et seq. (1980)

CERCLA (pronounced SERK-la) provides a federal "Superfund" to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants into the environment. Through the Act, EPA was given power to seek out those parties responsible for any release and assure their cooperation in the cleanup. EPA cleans up orphan sites when potentially responsible parties (PRPs) cannot be identified or located, or when they fail to act. Through various enforcement tools, EPA obtains private party cleanup through orders, consent decrees, and other small party settlements. EPA also recovers costs from financially viable individuals and companies once a response action has been completed.

EPA is authorized to implement the Act in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Superfund site identification, monitoring, and response activities in states are coordinated through the state environmental protection or waste management agencies.

 

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