Vapor Intrusion

Vapor Intrusion at Superfund Sites

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Trichloroethylene and Vapor Intrusion

Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is a widely used industrial chemical frequently found at Superfund sites as a contaminant in soil and groundwater. Scientific evidence indicates TCE poses potential cancer and non-cancer human health hazards. EPA has compiled information (Compilation of Information Relating to Early/Interim Actions at Superfund Sites and the TCE IRIS Assessment) regarding existing EPA guidance on early or interim actions at Superfund sites where investigations of indoor air contamination identify site-related TCE concentrations.

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Community Involvement and Vapor Intrusion

Community and stakeholder involvement is a key component of any Superfund site investigation and response action. It is particularly important for Superfund sites with vapor intrusion issues, because the exposures to toxic vapors can occur in

  • homes
  • workplaces
  • schools
  • places of commerce

may be unavoidable (in the absence of mitigation systems). Community and stakeholder involvement activities should, therefore, be initiated as soon as possible after the determination that vapor intrusion concerns exist at a particular Superfund site.

If you have concerns about vapor intrusion where you live or work, please contact your state health department.

For more information about community involvement and cleanup sites, visit the Superfund Community Involvement web page.

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Five-Year Reviews and Vapor Intrusion

Section 121 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), requires that remedial actions which result in any hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants remaining at the site be re-evaluated every five years to determine if the remedy is and will continue to be protective of human health and the environment. OSWER Directive 9200.2-84 provides a recommended framework for assessing vapor intrusion in the context of the Superfund five-year review process, Assessing Protectiveness at Sites for Vapor Intrusion.

For further information, please contact Rich Kapuscinski (
phone: 703-305-7411

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Subsurface Intrusion and the Hazard Ranking System

The Hazard Ranking System (HRS) is the principal mechanism the EPA uses to place sites on the National Priorities List (NPL). Additional information about the HRS and the addition of subsurface intrusion to the HRS can be found on the HRS subsurface intrusion web page.

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