Superfund: Contaminated Sediments

Sediments Present Risks - Contaminated sediment continues to be a significant environmental problem that impairs the uses of many waterbodies. It is often a contributing factor to the over 3,200 fish consumption advisories issued nationwide. The Superfund program uses its Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) authority, in collaboration with other EPA programs and authorities, to clean up sediment sites that present an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment.

Cleanups selected at 150 sites - As of September 2015, Superfund has selected a remedy at 71 Tier 1 sediment sites, where the chosen remedy addressed more than 10,000 cubic yards or 5 acres of contaminated sediment. Seventeen sites are considered Tier 2 sediment sites and are monitored and reviewed by the Contaminated Sediments Technical Advisory Group.  

Key Principle in Remedy Evaluation - EPA encourages its project managers to develop and refine conceptual site models. These models consider key uncertainties and are part of an adaptive management framework used to select and implement cost-effective remedies that control sources and achieve long-term protectiveness while minimizing short-term impacts.