The WV DEP’s Superfund Program coordinates and executes federal Superfund cleanups with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense. Within the Superfund Program, recent federal efforts have focused on recognizing and supporting the successful state Brownfield and Voluntary Cleanup programs.
Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, on December 11, 1980. CERCLA:
- Provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environmen
- Established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites;
- Provided for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at these sites;
- Established a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries which went into a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified;
- Enabled the revision of the National Contingency Plan (NCP), which provided the guidelines and procedures needed to respond to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants; and,
- Authorized two kinds of response actions:
- Short-term removals where actions may be taken to address releases or threatened releases requiring prompt response.
- Long-term remedial response actions that permanently and significantly reduce the dangers associated with releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are serious, but not immediately life threatening. These actions can be conducted only at sites listed on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL).
CERCLA was amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) on October 17, 1986.