September 30, 2020

How can surrounding cleanup sites affect my property?

Our team is commonly asked the question, “how can surrounding cleanup sites affect my property?” For property owners, whether residential or commercial, it might seem scary to have a cleanup site nearby. After all, how do you know if you and your property are at risk from nearby cleanup sites?

History

First thing’s first, how do you know if properties near you are designated cleanup sites? The EPA has created a National Priorities List of sites with “known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States.” These sites are known as “Superfund” sites.

What is a Superfund? Well, in response to unregulated toxic waste sites that proved dangerous in the 1970s, the United States government passed CERCLA, or the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. CERCLA, informally referred to as “Superfund,” allows the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up sites and regulate waste disposal by companies.

Once you navigate to the National Priorities List linked above, click on your state to see properties near you that qualify as a Superfund site. Other environmental databases list other historic and active cleanup sites, as well as facilities that handle hazardous materials.

When are surrounding cleanup sites a problem?

According to our team of engineers, chemical releases within ⅛ of a mile from your property and are up-gradient or at higher elevation, are typically of concern.

Chemical releases can include:

  • Petroleum products
  • Chlorinated solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Hazardous materials

Common locations for chemical releases are at former or current gas stations, dry cleaners, industrial properties or land that has been an agricultural site since before CERCLA was enacted (because of pesticide use).

If you’re aware of a cleanup site near your property, we suggest that you call your local environmental consultants to talk about next steps.

Still have questions or concerns about the safety cleanup sites around your property? Give us a call at 1-800-595-7616 or check out our website at www.esseltek.com.
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