Citing “dangerous health risks,” US adds $1 billion to Superfund cleanup efforts

By Carey Gillam

The US is earmarking more than $1 billion to help clean up long-standing hazardous waste sites jeopardizing the health of communities around the country, a move that will impact 110 sites around the country, officials said on Tuesday.

The money for new and continuing projects marks the “final wave” of a total of roughly $3.5 billion allocated in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for Superfund work, and addresses an administrative initiative aimed at directing funds to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities, Janet McCabe, deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said in a press conference held to announce the funding.

Communities around the country have been “long-overburdened by pollution” that poses “dangerous health risks,” McCabe said. Minority populations have been particularly impacted with more than one in four Black and Hispanic Americans living within three miles of a Superfund site.

Of 25 sites set to receive funding for new projects, 75% are in historically underserved communities, according to McCabe.

“This funding will help improve people’s lives, especially those who’ve long been on the front lines of pollution,” she said.

In addition to the 25 sites receiving new project funding, another 85 sites are receiving money to continue ongoing cleanup projects.