First, the report. With 51 percent of America’s population living within three miles of a Superfund, brownfield, or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action site, our cleanup activities are an important part of people’s lives. Our annual interactive accomplishments report helps those affected by our programs understand how we clean up contaminated sites, ensure communities are prepared in the event of an oil spill or chemical accident, and responsibly manage and control hazardous and non-hazardous materials. In fiscal year 2014, we:
- Conducted 466 inspections at industrial facilities across the country handling extremely hazardous chemicals.
- Made 11,161 Superfund, RCRA corrective action, brownfields and leaking underground storage sites ready for anticipated use by communities.
- Completed or oversaw 304 Superfund removal actions to contain and remove contaminants and eliminate dangers to the public.
- Increased the number of sites where human exposure to harmful chemicals is under control to 82 percent of Superfund sites and 87 percent of RCRA corrective action sites.
Leveraged more than $418 million in community investments with brownfields area-wide planning grants.
- Worked with federal agencies and Navajo Nation to assess 520 miles, 800 homes and 240 drinking water wells potentially contaminated by abandoned uranium mines.
The report also provides an update on the sustainable materials management (SMM) program’s efforts to reduce the amount of materials people and businesses consume and integrate SMM into business practices to conserve natural resources and stay competitive globally. In fiscal year 2014, we worked with our partners to:
- Divert 375,000 tons of food from landfills.
- Collect more than 220,000 tons of used electronics.
- Save $42 million for U.S. taxpayers by reducing the federal government’s waste, water, and electricity usage.
Addressing the complex environmental challenges facing us today is a shared responsibility. The activities highlighted in the report would not be possible without partnerships with state and tribal co-regulators, local governments, and the regulated community. I want to thank all of our stakeholders and partners for their commitment to our mission.
Finally, we’ve launched the @EPAland Twitter account to help you stay up to date on local site cleanups, learn about renewable energy technologies on contaminated sites, understand how we respond to hazardous material emergencies and more. We encourage you to stay engaged in our programs and your feedback is important to us. Join the conversation today, I’ll see you there.