Northwest Odessa Groundwater Site Added to National Priorities List

DALLAS – (September 8, 2021) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is adding four sites and proposing to add another 13 sites to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) where releases of contamination pose significant human health and environmental risks. This action includes the Northwest Odessa Groundwater in Odessa, Texas. EPA is also withdrawing a previously proposed site, following the Agency’s science-based determination that placing the site on the NPL is not needed to protect human health and the environment.

With this Superfund NPL update, the Biden-Harris Administration is demonstrating a commitment to updating the NPL twice a year. By pledging to add sites more regularly to the NPL, EPA is taking action to protect the health of communities across the country while cleaning up and returning blighted properties to safe and productive reuse in areas where environmental cleanup and jobs are needed most.

“EPA recognizes that no community deserves to have contaminated sites near where they live, work, pray, and go to school.  By adding sites to the Superfund NPL, we are helping to ensure that more communities living near the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination have the protection they deserve,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.  “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to increasing funding and working with Congress on the bipartisan infrastructure deal to provide the Superfund Program with the resources it needs to address a backlog of sites awaiting cleanup, as well as additional sites in need of cleanup.”

“Cleaning up the contaminated plume in Odessa, TX is a public health and safety imperative,” said Acting Regional Administrator David Gray. “Preventing the risks posed by the migration of the plume at this site will protect those in the community that rely on groundwater as a drinking water source.”

EPA is adding the following sites to the NPL:

  • Pioneer Metal Finishing Inc in Franklinville, New Jersey
  • Northwest Odessa Groundwater in Odessa, Texas
  • Cherokee Zinc – Weir Smelter in Wier, Kansas
  • Billings PCE in Billings, Montana

EPA is also proposing to add the following sites to the NPL:

  • Lower Neponset River, Boston/Milton, Massachusetts
  • Meeker Avenue Plume, Brooklyn, New York
  • Ochoa Fertilizer Co, Guánica, Puerto Rico
  • Bear Creek Sediments, Baltimore County, Maryland
  • Paden City Groundwater, Paden City, West Virginia
  • Westside Lead, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Galey & Lord Plant, Society Hill, South Carolina
  • National Fireworks, Cordova, Tennessee
  • North 5th Street Groundwater Contamination, Goshen, Indiana
  • Michner Plating – Mechanic Street, Jackson, Michigan
  • Southeast Hennepin Area Groundwater and Vapor, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Unity Auto Mart, Unity, Wisconsin
  • Bradford Island, Cascade Locks, Oregon

This list includes sites contaminated with lead and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), two contaminants that the EPA is committed to addressing using the best available science, and our full range of statutory authorities.

With this update, the Agency is also withdrawing a previous proposal to add the Highway 71/72 Refinery in Bossier City, Louisiana, to the NPL because a responsible party, under EPA oversight, is advancing the site’s cleanup. EPA uses all available tools to ensure the protection of human health and the environment, and various non-NPL site cleanup alternatives may be more appropriate to meet a specific site’s cleanup needs.

Background

The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.

EPA proposes sites to the NPL based on a scientific determination of risks to people and the environment, consistent with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. 

Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited for significant reductions in both birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24 percent within three miles of sites after cleanup.

Further, thanks to Superfund cleanups, communities are now using previously blighted properties for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. As of 2020, EPA has collected economic data on 632 Superfund sites, finding 9,900 businesses in operation, 227,000 people employed, $16.3 billion in employee-earned income, and $63.3 billion in business-generated sales.

For information about Superfund and the NPL, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for NPL and proposed sites, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites

Connect with EPA Region 6:

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On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6

Activities in EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central



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