Chenoweth Law Group

Superfund sites

The state of Oregon has its share of Superfund sites, and that means that the health problems and environmental contamination associated with those areas can be a real problem for a substantial number of the state's citizens. Ever since the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act was passed in 1980, the term Superfund has been used to designate areas that have been toxified and environmentally devastated, most often by heavy industrial use.

Once a site has been designated a Superfund, the Environmental Protection Agency has certain rights to step in and clean it. The EPA will begin by assessing the site, placing it on the National Priorities List wherever deemed appropriate, and will begin to clear the area of harmful pollutants. It will strive to involve the community wherever possible. The agency may also compel the company or companies responsible for the pollution to pay restitution.

The Office of Emergency Management, a subdivision of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, has direct jurisdiction over short-term response to a Superfund situation. Long-term cleanup and management are usually under the purview of the Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation. Federal facilities that have fallen into Superfund categorization will be overseen by the Federal Facilities Response and Reuse Office,

People who have come to harm because of a polluting industry near their home or place of work may wish to consider some form of environmental litigation to demand the polluter cease toxifying the environment, make effective efforts to repair the damage at once and to pay just compensation to the people who have suffered personal injury due to their illegal actions. An experienced civil litigation attorney can be of assistance in this regard.

Source: EPA, "Basic Information", December 03, 2014

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