Military installations have been significant contributors to Superfund sites. Past activities harmed the environment. They involved using, storing, and disposing of hazardous materials. This exposed veterans to toxic chemicals resulting in chronic conditions.
Superfund sites in the United States are heavily polluted and require cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). We will look at the Superfund Act, which provides the legal framework for the cleanup of these sites. Additionally, we will discuss the EPA’s list of Superfund sites and its relation to military sites.
What is a Superfund Site?
A Superfund site refers to any land in the United States that hazardous substances, pollutants, or toxins have contaminated. These sites pose substantial risks to human health and the environment. “Superfund” originates from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as the Superfund Act. This federal law authorized the cleanup of these sites and held responsible parties accountable for the costs.
EPA Superfund Sites and the Superfund Act
Under the Superfund Act, the EPA is responsible for managing and coordinating the cleanup of these sites nationwide. The agency maintains a comprehensive list of sites, prioritizing the greatest risk to human health and the environment. The EPA works closely with federal, state, tribal, and local authorities and communities to address the contamination and restore affected areas. The Superfund Act ensures that the costs associated with cleanup activities are borne by those responsible.
Military Sites on the EPA Superfund List
There are over 100 military Superfund sites. These sites may include former bases, training areas, firing ranges, etc. These listings acknowledge the need for urgent cleanup and remediation to mitigate risks to human health and the surrounding ecosystem.
The military’s involvement with Superfund sites stems from several sources:
- Active Military Installations: Many Superfund sites are on or near active military bases. Past military activities, such as storing or disposing of hazardous materials, fuel spills, or unexploded ordnance, may have contaminated these sites.
- Former Military Bases: Several former military bases have been designated Superfund sites. This is due to hazardous substances and pollutants resulting from past military operations. These sites often require extensive cleanup efforts.
- Military Training Areas: Some Superfund sites are associated with military training areas. Using munitions and other hazardous materials has led to soil and water contamination.
Veterans and active duty personnel should review the list to see if they could have been exposed to toxic chemicals. This type of information can be used to help establish a service connection to a current condition.
Locating Superfund Sites Using the Superfund Sites Map
To facilitate transparency and access to information, the EPA provides an interactive Superfund sites map on its website. This map allows users to search for Superfund sites across the United States and view specific details about each site. This includes contaminant information, remediation status, and responsible parties.
Military sites have played a considerable role in creating Superfund sites, necessitating focused cleanup and risk prevention efforts. The EPA’s Superfund program continues to make progress in addressing these contaminated areas, safeguarding public health, and restoring the environment. By utilizing the Superfund sites map, concerned veterans and their families can check if they live near a Superfund site.
Are You Getting the Benefits You Deserve?
If you were denied benefits for toxic exposure, contact an experienced VA attorney. To speak with a specialist and review your options, set up a free consultation with the Cameron Firm, PC. Contact us today at (800) 861-7262 or fill out the form below.