WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency (search) on Monday proposed adding another 11 sites to its Superfund program for cleaning up the nation's worst toxic waste contamination.
The sites range from lead mine wastes threatening downstream fisheries to an unknown source of drinking well contamination for thousands of people.
They are located in nine states -- Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia -- and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
EPA officials said the problems found at these sites exemplify a recent trend in the program handling bigger, costlier and more complex cleanups.
"They are the worst of the worst, the real turkeys that the states don't want to touch," said Randolph Dietz, an attorney adviser for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (search), which oversees the Superfund program.
Since the Superfund (search) program began in 1980, the EPA has completed cleanups at almost 900 sites but has 1,240 on its uncompleted list. Adding the 11 new sites and others that have been proposed, would bring the total to more than 1,300, said Thomas Dunne, the office's associate assistant administrator.
The new sites are listed by EPA as: Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination in Evansville, Ind.; Devil's Swamp in Scotlandville, La.; Annapolis Lead Mine in Annapolis, Mo.; Picayune Wood Treating in Picayune, Miss.; Grants Chlorinated Solvents Plume in Grants, N.M.; Diaz Chemical Corp. in Holley, N.Y.; Peninsula Boulevard Groundwater Plume in Hewlett, N.Y.; Ryeland Road Arsenic in Heidelberg Township, Pa.; Cidra Ground Water Contamination in Cidra, Puerto Rico; Pike Hill Copper Mine in Corinth, Vt.; and Ravenswood PCE Ground Water Plume in Ravenswood, W.Va.