Friday, January 28, 2011

EPA weighs using vapor intrusion as a Superfund criteria

The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting public comment on whether to include vapor intrusion threats as a component for including hazardous waste sites on the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

The EPA describes Superfund sites as "the most polluted, complex, uncontrolled or abandoned sites in the United States and are eligible for federal cleanup funding to protect the people’s health"
and says that vapor intrusion " describes the migration of volatile chemicals from contaminated groundwater or soil into the atmosphere, and is a particular concern if vapors enter an overlying building."

The federal agency said today that it is accepting public feedback on seven specific topics related to the potential revisions to the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), which is used to evaluate sites for the Superfund list, for 75 days. The agency will consider information gathered during the comment period, as well as input from three public listening sessions before making a decision on whether to issue a proposed rulemaking to add a vapor intrusion component to the HRS.

EPA will host its first public listening session at its Arlington, Va. office on February 11, 2011.  Two additional listening sessions will be held in San Francisco, Calif. and Albuquerque, N.M.  EPA will post dates, times and addresses for the listening sessions on its Superfund webpage.  

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