The Superfund Section investigates uncontrolled and unregulated hazardous waste sites. They identify the risks these sites pose, prioritize them for cleanup, and direct cleanup activities. They apply the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, the state's Inactive Hazardous Sites Response Act of 1987 and the Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Act and Amendments.
The Superfund Section consists of four branches:
The Federal Remediation Branch works with sites that are technically or politically unique or very complex. The type, nature and extent of wastes, specific site conditions and the hazard posed may lead to a site being assigned to this branch. We guide and oversee assessment, cleanup and feasibility studies at sites on the National Priorities List and at federal facilities. Funding is provided by cooperative agreements with EPA and the Department of Defense.
The primary responsibility of the Federal Remediation Branch is to address sites that are technically or politically unique or sensitive, or that are particularly complex in terms of the types, nature and extent of wastes on the site, or in terms of specific site conditions and the evaluation of the extent of hazard posed by the site. This activity includes providing State oversight and guidance for remedial investigation feasibility studies, and other remedial activities at National Priorities List (NPL) sites and at Federal Facilities. This assistance is partially funded by two federal grants under cooperative agreements with EPA and the Department of Defense.
The Federal Remediation Branch Target Screening Values Table provides screening criteria for determination of Contaminants of Potential Concern and ultimately aids in the establishment of site remediation goals. This table should not be used in place of or confused with the Soil Remediation Goals Table used under the Inactive Hazardous Sites and Registered Environmental Consultants Programs Guidelines.
The Inactive Hazardous Sites Branch administers the North Carolina Inactive Hazardous Sites Response Act of 1987 (N.C.G.S. 130A-310 et seq). It was created to protect the public and the environment from uncontrolled and unregulated hazardous wastes sites not addressed by other programs. The IHS Branch works on sites where hazardous substance and/or waste contamination exists. The Branch does not address sites located at RCRA permitted or interim status facilities, or with petroleum releases. Refer to the Branch's page for other exceptions.
The Branch also implements the Pre-Regulatory Landfill Program to assess and mitigate the hazardous at uncontrolled, unpermitted landfills that closed prior to 1983.
The Site Evaluation and Removal Branch works with the EPA to investigate sites where uncontrolled and unregulated hazardous waste have been or may be released into the environment. The sites are prioritized for federal Superfund response by ranking their potential risk to public health and the environment. Some sites that pose an immediate risk receive EPA removal actions designed to eliminate acute exposures or the imminent release of hazardous chemicals. Sites posing great long-term threat are placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List. Then, they are eligible for long-term Superfund cleanups. Once discovered, we handle site investigations and recommend which sites should be added to the NPL.
The Site Evaluation and Removal Branch operates under a cooperative agreement with the US EPA to assess uncontrolled and unregulated hazardous waste sites in NC and prioritize these sites for federal Superfund response action. Under Superfund, a site may be defined as any unregulated or uncontrolled source from which hazardous substances have been or threaten to be released into the environment. Once discovered, these sites are placed on EPA's CERCLA inventory (CERCLIS) and assessed to determine their relative risk to public health and the environment. Sites posing an immediate risk may warrant a removal action by EPA to remove the threat of acute exposures or imminent releases of hazardous substances. Sites posing the greatest long-term threat are placed on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) and are thereby eligible for long-term remedial action under Superfund. This Branch conducts all site assessment activities from site discovery through expanded site inspections and recommends the worst sites for listing on the NPL.
CERCLIS sites are screened for NPL listing using nationally established criteria set out in EPA's Hazard Ranking System. Sites are evaluated based on the likelihood of hazardous substance release, characteristics of wastes on site, and their potential impacts on target populations and sensitive environments should contaminants migrate through air, surface water, groundwater or soil exposure pathways. Currently, there are approximately 900 sites in NC listed on CERCLIS, many of which have already been determined to warrant no further action by EPA. Twenty-three sites have been added to the NPL. In addition, this Branch also assesses those sites which have the highest potential for imminent threat to the public health, determine whether the site poses an imminent threat, and if warranted, request and coordinate assistance form the US EPA Emergency Response and Removal Branch, Region IV, Atlanta. Branch activities are conducted using federal funds from US EPA and support 16.15 positions in the Superfund Section.
The Special Remediation Branch conducts activities regarding the assessment and remediation of both state and federal sites.
Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Act Program - A voluntary program designed to assess and remediate drycleaning sites that are contaminated with drycleaning solvents.
Manufactured Gas Plant Initiative -The branch negotiated an agreement with the North Carolina Manufactured Gas Plant Group, a utility industry working group. Under the agreement, the branch will assess and, where needed, clean up 28 to 35 manufactured gas plant sites in the state. This is the section’s first experiment in "direct funding." Members of the N.C. MGP Group provided the division with $425,000 used to hire staff that oversaw these sites for the first three years. In 2004, the MGP group agreed to provide close to $430,000 to continue the project for another three years. No state resources are used on these sites. More information on this agreement can be found here.