ITEP - Waste Management - Hazardous Substances - Emergency Planning, Management, and Response

Superfund CERCLA

PO Box 15004, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5004
Phone: (928) 523-0526
Fax: (928) 523-1266

Superfund CERCLA:

Back to Hazardous Substances Map The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and the subsequent Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), which are also referred to as superfund, provide EPA with the authority to respond to the release or potential release, of hazardous substances. Under CERCLA, tribal entities are essentially treated the same as states. These hazardous substances, which are defined below, may be of immediate or future risk to both human and environmental health. CERCLA was essentially established to deal with cases in which the site containing the hazardous substance is abandoned and the responsible party (owner or operator) or contaminant(s) may not be known. SARA, among other amendments, increased the fund from $1.5 billion to $8.5 billion per year in order to address cases in which the responsible party is unknown or unable to pay for required remediation.

The law authorizes EPA to respond by means of two approaches: short-term removal and long-term remediation. Short-term removals are classified by an immediate response. Short-term removal actions may include removal of abandoned drums of hazardous substances, spills, and even evacuations. Long-term remediation is aimed at permanently and significantly reducing risks to the surrounding communities and environment. Long-term remediation may be coupled with short-term removal to aid in the remediation process.

Click HERE for the CERCLA cleanup process.