EPA Adds Arsenic Mine to Administrator Emphasis List

July 17, 2019

Diamond Alkali meets remediation goals & EPA adds three sites for immediate action

UPDATE July 19, 2019: This article has been revised to accurately reflect revisions of the Administrator's Emphasis of Superfund Sites.

The U.S. EPA revised the Administrator's Emphasis of Superfund Sites list for sites targeted for immediate and intense action.

According to an EPA news release, one site, Diamond Alkali/Passaic, was removed from the list in Newark, N.J. Three sites also were added: an arsenic mine in Kent, N.Y.; the San Mateo Creek Basin legacy uranium mines in Cibola and McKinley Counties, N.M.; and a petroleum products site in Pembroke Park, Fla. Diamond Alkali/Passaic was removed from the Administrator's Emphasis of Superfund Sites list for meeting short term goals that reduce the need for immediate action. This list is not the same as the Superfund National Priorities list.

“Removing the Diamond Alkali Site from the list after completing the important remedial investigation work is further evidence of the strides we are making to advance projects in the Superfund program,” said Pete Lopez, EPA Regional Administrator, in an EPA release

In total, 17 Superfund sites are on the list. Of those 17, 14 sites have been removed from the Administrator’s Emphasis List since December 2017 for meeting short term goals.

“With this update, EPA achieves an important milestone at the Diamond Alkali site and also adds three additional sites to the Administrator’s Emphasis List for immediate attention and action,” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA Administrator, in an EPA release. “These updates demonstrate our continued progress in the Superfund program and our commitment to accelerate the cleanup of the nation’s most contaminated sites. In Fiscal Year 2018, EPA deleted more sites off Superfund’s National Priorities List than any other single year since 2005, and we’re on pace to delete even more this year.”

The arsenic mine site was proposed after the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry issued a public health advisory on it. Lopez said EPA placed the arsenic mine on the list because the agency is pursuing inclusion of it on the National Priorities List to protect public health and the environment at the site.