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While we often hear the buzzword, Superfund site, we may not know what it means. Superfund is the nickname for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). This federal law calls for identifying the most contaminated sites in the U.S. and pushing responsible parties to clean them up.
Superfund often receives federal funding, including $9.3 billion in 1986, and $600 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, of which, $160 million were earmarked for New Jersey Superfund cleanup of eight sites.
Congress enacted Superfund in 1980 in response to Love Canal in New York, the Valley of the Drums in Kentucky, and other contamination disasters. Before being added as to the Superfund list, a risk assessment is performed on the site and neighboring site to determine environmental impact. As of May 14, 2010, the Superfund National Priority List (NPL), which lists the most threatening Superfund sites in the U.S., totaled 1,279 sites. While many are listed as completed or deleted, new ones are continually added.
The following sites are targeted for Superfund cleanup in New Jersey:
Superfund sites are managed by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection and require immediate cleanup because they pose significant threats to the public and environment. However, state and local programs manage Brownfield sites.
There is also a new initiative by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) called The Natural Resource Damage Program which evaluates existing cleanup cases, identifies responsible parties, and pushes them to repair and restore the natural resources they damaged.
Whether it is a Superfund, Brownfield, or NRD site, the crux of the problem often boils down to money. New Jersey Superfund liability can require millions of dollars to clean up a single site. Superfund litigation in New Jersey may be needed to enforce compliance.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection oversees the New Jersey Superfund program and New Jersey Superfund risk assessment. Toxic substances commonly removed from contaminated Superfund sites include the following:
At the law firm of Lieberman & Blecher, P.C., our environmental lawyers have a thorough understanding of Superfund law in New Jersey and can provide guidance on how to deal with the law if you are responsible for a site's clean up or are pursuing action against a company or group responsible for a Superfund site. We represent and provide legal guidance to individuals, businesses and municipalities in state and federal courts in all types of environmental matters including the NJ wetlands, Pinelands, and environmental contamination.
Our website details our extensive track record fighting and winning toxic contamination lawsuits. To protect your rights and discuss your case, call us today at (732) 355-1311 or contact us online.