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State Superfund Program

The state Superfund program addresses facilities that may constitute an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment due to a release or threatened release of hazardous substances into the environment.

Superfund is the common name for the law that authorizes the state to take care of contaminated sites that have releases or potential releases of hazardous substances into the environment. The law gives the environmental agencies the legal power to clean up the sites and to recover cleanup costs from those who are responsible for the hazardous substances and solid wastes associated with the Superfund site.

Listing Sites

The TCEQ publishes the list, or registry, of state Superfund sites annually. Sites with a score of 5.0 or above through the Hazard Ranking System may be referred from the Superfund Site Discovery and Assessment program or the Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection program to be proposed to the state registry.

Generally, sites are considered to be "proposed" to the registry during the remedial investigation and feasibility study phase. After a public meeting to discuss what’s needed to clean up a site, an administrative order for remedial design and action is issued and a site becomes "listed".

Cleanup

This program remediates contaminated sites through a site-specific and multi-phase investigation, cleanup, and post-completion care approach. Throughout the process, the TCEQ keeps the public and interested parties apprised through notifications and public meetings. At sites undergoing cleanup that is paid for with state funds, environmental consultants under contract with the TCEQ conduct the bulk of the field work and cleanups.

When site investigations and cleanups are funded by a third party, the terms of the work are controlled by an administrative order and overseen by the TCEQ. Third parties might include potentially responsible parties, responsible parties, or bankruptcy trustees.

While many of the Superfund laws and procedures are analogous to those of the federal Superfund program, the state Superfund program is governed by state laws.

State Superfund Laws

Federal Superfund Laws

Federal Superfund Program

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency works with the TCEQ under the federal Superfund environmental program and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to assess and clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).

Superfund: Site Discovery and Assessment

A program to assess abandoned or inactive facilities for potential cleanup as Superfund sites and if necessary, address releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may constitute an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment.