POLLUTION LOCATOR|Superfund Site Investigation and Cleanup Process

Scorecard provides information from U.S. EPA on the status of individual Superfund sites in the overall cleanup process, and the number of Superfund sites in each of seven stages of cleanup at the county, state, and national level.

The process of investigation and remediation at Superfund sites follows seven basic stages as defined by EPA:

  1. New listings. Scorecard assigns this temporary category to sites that have been recently listed on the NPL, and have not yet been associated with a specific stage of cleanup by U.S EPA.
  2. Remedial assessment not begun. In this stage, sites have undergone the screening-level preliminary inspection and site assessment required for listing on the National Priorities List, but have not progressed to the stage of more detailed investigation.
  3. Remedial assessment not begun with removal. This category refers to sites where U.S. EPA has conducted an Emergency Removal of Contaminants, but where detailed investigations have not yet begun.
  4. Study underway. At this stage, the Remedial Investigation / Feasibility Study (RIFS) to determine the nature and extent of contamination is underway.
  5. Remedy Selected. At this stage, the Record of Decision (ROD) has been signed, but the design of remedies has not started and may still be in negotiation. Based on information generated during the RI/FS, RODs explain which cleanup alternatives will be used.
  6. Design Underway. Remedial Design (RD) is the phase in Superfund site cleanup where the technical specifications for cleanup remedies and technologies outlined in the RODs are designed, but have not yet been implemented.
  7. Construction Underway. Remedial Action (RA) follows the remedial design phase and involves the actual construction or implementation phase of Superfund site cleanup.
  8. Construction Completions. Superfund sites are categorized as construction completions if:
  9. In many cases, "construction complete" does not mean that the cleanup itself is complete. For example, parties may have to continue to operate a system constructed to pump and treat groundwater for more than 30 years until contaminants in the water are reduced to acceptable levels.

    Note: In its statistics for construction-completed sites, EPA often includes sites that have already been delisted or deleted from the NPL in addition to sites that are still on the NPL. Scorecard's statistics for construction-completed sites currently include only sites that are still on the NPL. More information on delisted/deleted sites is available from EPA.