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Environment

U.S. EPA pushes redevelopment of hazardous waste sites

by Cheryl Hogue
January 22, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 4

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Credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA removed waste material containing asbestos at the BoRit site in Ambler, Pa.
Credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA removed waste material containing asbestos at the BoRit site in Ambler, Pa.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking investors for 31 hazardous waste sites that EPA determined have the greatest potential for redevelopment. The sites, scattered across the country, feature several former chemical manufacturing sites, including the old Kerr-McGee Chemical company in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as a the BoRit Asbestos site in Ambler, Pa. All 31 have been on EPA’s Superfund list of hazardous waste sites for priority cleanup and have undergone remediation. And all have “significant redevelopment potential” because of access to transportation, local land values, previous interest by investors, or other factors, the agency said on Jan. 17. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pushing hard to get remaining cleanup of Superfund sites completed and the land back into use. He says sites on the list are “ready to become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization.” It’s unclear whether Pruitt expects those potentially responsible for the contamination to pony up more money for faster cleanup. As sites get developed, EPA will add new ones to the group targeted for reuse.

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