Frequent Questions

What are the roles of EPA and the states in regards to identifying and prioritizing sites?

EPA regions receive notifications of potentially contaminated sites from various sources including states, tribes, other EPA programs such as the Superfund removal and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs, at:, as well as citizens. Given limited resources and a broad range of potential threats posed by different sites, EPA regions work with their state and tribal partners to determine which sites will be evaluated. In gen eral, the philosophy of "worst sites first" guides the prioritization of site assessment work. EPA refers sites posing threats requiring immediate attention to its removal program for short term cleanup work. EPA addresses sites posing long-term threats sufficient for cleanup under the federal Superfund Remedial program, via the National Priorities List (NPL), at: , or a non-NPL cleanup approach. Non-NPL cleanup approaches include Superfund Alternative Approach agreements, state or tribal environmental cleanup programs, and the RCRA.

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