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EPA Adds Subsurface Intrusion to Superfund Hazard Ranking System for NPL Sites

Contact Information: 
Christie St. Clair (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 8, 2016) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday finalized a proposal to expand the hazards that qualify sites for the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

EPA assesses sites using the Hazard Ranking System (HRS), which quantifies negative impacts to air, groundwater, surface water and soil. Sites receiving HRS scores above a specific threshold can be proposed for placement on the NPL.

Subsurface intrusion is the migration of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants from contaminated groundwater or soil into an overlying building. Subsurface intrusion can result in people being exposed to harmful levels of hazardous substances, which can raise the lifetime risk of cancer or chronic disease.

This regulatory change does not affect the status of sites currently on or proposed to be added to the NPL. This modification only augments criteria for applying the HRS to sites being evaluated in the future.

EPA targets sites on the NPL for further investigation and possible remediation through the Superfund program. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup leading to a permanent remedy.

Learn more about the HRS addition on EPA’s website.

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Learn about how a site is listed on the NPL

Read the blog on Wednesday's action by EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management Mathy Stanislaus

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