Since 1980, the Superfund toxic waste cleanup program has worked to protect the approximately 53 million Americans who live within 3 miles of the nation’s most polluted toxic waste sites. There are over 1,300 of these sites across the country. Over the years, the Superfund program has evolved beyond just conducting cleanups at traditional hazardous waste sites; the Superfund program now supports response actions triggered by terrorism, natural disasters and other catastrophes. The Superfund program helped respond to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the anthrax contamination in the U.S. Senate, and the initial federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Flooding of Superfund Sites Can Threaten Human Health and the Environment
In September 2017, 13 Superfund sites were flooded in the Houston, Texas, area following Hurricane Harvey. The cancer-causing chemical dioxin leaked at at least one site. There are 55 Superfund National Priorities List sites in Texas, and 13 in Louisiana, the states hardest hit by Hurricane Laura. Each state also has additional hazardous waste sites that are under state supervision. There are at least 37 sites that are proposed for or on the National Priorities List in areas at risk for significant weather due to Hurricane Laura, and dozens more further inland.
To see the full list of sites and information on the risks, as well as how to protect yourself, download our report.