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GAO Expects Growth in Superfund Sites and Remediation Costs to Exceed Funding

Private companies have worked to remediate this Superfund site in New Jersey, contaminated with toxic solvents toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene compounds, all detrimental to the human nervous system. New Jersey has remediated only about 20 percent of its Superfund sites and it’s predicted 15 and 25 new Superfund sites will be added in the state over the next five years.

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“Super,” as in superlative, is defined as “of the highest order,” but when super is attached as a prefix to “fund,” it becomes a loathsome word.

New Jersey, often the butt of jokes of Manhattanites, leads the union in Superfund toxic-waste sites, which are no joke.

You may be surprised to know that Jersey comprises five geographic regions and almost half the state is wooded, with northern oak forests and a proliferation of pines comprising a large area in the state’s southern section.

Despite this nature, it’s reported by Greenwire that New Jersey could add between 15 and 25 new Superfund toxic-waste sites to the National Priorities List in the next five years. Ed Putnam, head of the remediation program for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) says his department is still discovering cases that are going to involve multimillion-dollar remediation costs.

New Jersey has received $3 billion from the Superfund in the 30 years since it was created, but only 29 of the 142 sites have been cleaned up, barely 20 percent. New Jersey Superfund sites are enumerated at

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit released in June 2010 predicts more states will compete for federal cleanup money in the next five years, that 20 to 25 sites will join the list every year for the next five years (the average was 16 over the previous five years) and remediation costs will “exceed current funding levels.”

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June 26, 2019, 12:06 pm PDT

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