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Superfund Progress Metrics

2010 January 1

What additional information would help you gauge how much progress has been made at a Superfund site?

A considerable amount of cleanup work and risk reduction occurs at Superfund sites prior to completing cleanup construction. It is appropriate to publicly convey Superfund site progress using both project level/operable unit or interim measures as well as site-wide or longer term measures. EPA currently use nine publicly reported measures to reflect EPA progress in protecting human health and the environment through Superfund cleanup work. Information about current Superfund cleanup measures is available online.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Chuck Lamb of Chair C.L.E.A.N. permalink
    January 8, 2010

    I would like to see a graphical representation of achievements and milestones. This could be in the form of a bar graph that would illustrate targets and appropriate “to date” status for the major areas as listed in the Superfund cleanup measures. At our site the E.P.A. does an excellent job of providing both technical information and remediation activity announcements. A concise project benchmark document would show everybody where the cleanup stands.

    Thank you for asking!

    Chuck Lamb, Chairman, C.L.E.A.N. Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine Superfund Site

  2. Dave Murchison of Dept of Toxic Substances Control, California EPA permalink
    January 13, 2010

    It appears to me the metrics focus on number of closures, areas made available for re-use, and the like. These metrics are of interest to political and redevelopment stakeholders, but of little value to those of us on the site characterization and cleanup side. I would like to see up-to-date interpretations of soil and groundwater plumes (maps and cross sections), plume mass removed or destroyed vs time, actual plume behavior vs predicted plume behavior, revisions to the Conceptual Site Model, revisions to the Proposed Plan, and a discussion of why revisions occur. All these things are important measures of progress, and real accomplishments, even in cases where no new closure occurs, no new acreage is available, and no change in human health risk is observed.
    Let’s measure our scientific progress, not just our ability to redevelop the land or exploit the groundwater.

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