Governmental Laws and Regulations
Environmental problems are addressed by state and federal agencies. In New Jersey, the Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is first on the scene. The Welsbach Gas Mantle Site, has qualified for Superfund status due to the toxic nature of the radiation.
What is Superfund?
Years ago, people did not understand how certain wastes might affect people's health and the environment. Many wastes were dumped on the ground, in rivers, or left out in the open. As a result, thousands of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites were created. Some common hazardous waste sites include abandoned warehouses, manufacturing facilities, processing plants, and landfills.
In response to growing concern over health and environmental risks posed by hazardous waste sites, Congress established the Superfund Program in 1980 to clean up these sites. The Superfund Program is administered by The US. Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with individual states and tribal governments. Superfund locates, investigates, and cleans up hazardous waste sites throughout the United States.
The Superfund Trust Fund was set up to pay for the cleanup of these sites. The money comes mainly from the chemical and petroleum industries. The trust Fund is used primarily when those companies or people responsible for containment at Superfund sites cannot be found, or cannot perform or pay for the cleanup work.
How are Superfund Sites Discovered?
Hazardous waste sites are discovered by local and state agencies, businesses, the US. EPA, the US. Coast Guard, and by people like you. You can report potential hazardous waste sites to the National Response Center Hotline or to your state and local authorities. To report a hazardous waste site, problem, or emergency, you should call the hotline at 1-800-424-8802. This hotline is operated 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
How do the sites get on the National Priorities List (NPL)?
To evaluate the Dangers posed by hazardous waste sites, EPA has developed a scoring system called the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). EPA uses the information collected during the assessment phase of the process to score sites according to the danger they may pose to public health and the environment. Sites that score high enough on the HRS are eligible for the NPL. Once a site is scored and meets the criteria, EPA proposes that it be put on the List. A site mat also be proposed for the NPL if the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry issues a health advisory for the site or if the site is chosen as the state's top priority site. The proposal is published in the Federal Register and the public has an opportunity to comment in writing on whether the site should be included on the NPL. To obtain more information on a proposed site, contact your Community Relations Coordinator.
The above selections are from a pamphlet published by the EPA entitled "This is Superfund - A citizen's Guide to EPA's Superfund Program"
This information was researched by the Government Team.
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