United States
                         Environmental Protection
Office of
Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
Publication 9200.5-008A
November 1990
?/EPA             The  Challenge  of  Superfund

                         Thousands of Sites Must Be Evaluated

                         Hazardous waste sites are identified through procedures as varied as formal notification requirements
                         and citizen phone calls to the Agency.

                         Approximately 33,000 potential National Priorities List (NPL) sites have been placed in CERCLIS,
                         EPA's computerized inventory of sites to be evaluated.

                         To date, almost 31,000 potential NPL sites have received the first level of evaluation, the preliminary

                         At 19,000 of these sites, the Agency decided that further Federal action is unnecessary.  Problems at
                         these sites are being dealt with by State and local governments, individuals, or companies.

                         Approximately 11,000 sites passed the first level of evaluation and are awaiting further investigation.

                         To date, the Agency has placed more than 1,200 sites on the NPL. Historically, 5-10 percent of all
                         sites evaluated are placed on the list. Based on past experience, the Agency expects to continue listing
                         approximately 100 sites per year.

                         Wastes at NPL Sites Come From Many Sources

                         Each NPL site is unique in its  layout, type of location, and variety of wastes.

                            Superfund sites range from a 1/4-acre metal plating shop to a 250-square mile mining complex.

                            Every conceivable type of waste is found at Superfund sites:

                               Heavy metals,



                               Pesticides, and

                               Radioactive wastes.

                            Superfund sites pose threats to:


                               Surface water,

                               Drinking water,

                               Soils, and


                                                               EH Manufacturing (38.9%)

                                                                Mining (2.03%)

                                                               D DOE* and Military (5.04%)

                                                               E3 Recyclers (8.49%)

                                                               H Industrial Landfill (6.46%)

                                                               & Municipal Landfill (16.54%)

                                                               Bother (22.9%)
                                                                 ' Department of Energy
Superfund Must Satisfy Conflicting Expectations

The public and Congress have many  often conflicting  expectations for Superfund. Some of the
mandates the program must meet are:
Rapid response                         and

Cleanups at many sites                   and

Prompt cleanup completion               and

Consistent cleanup nationwide            and

Using Trust Fund money for cleanup       and
                                                    .Careful planning

                                                     Thorough cleanup at each site

                                                     Extensive public involvement

                                                     Decentralized decision-making

                                                     Suing for private party response
Meeting these expectations requires EPA constantly to make difficult decisions regarding strategies
and priorities.