WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s decision to add Paden City, West Virginia, to its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

The Paden City site consists of co-mingled groundwater plumes containing hazardous substances. The groundwater and soils are contaminated with the solvent tetrachloroethylene (commonly referred as perchloroethylene or PCE) and its breakdown products which are commonly used in commercial and industrial operations such as dry cleaning. Three former dry cleaners may have contributed to the groundwater and soil contamination.  

“Being added to EPA’s NPL means Paden City can now rely on permanent federal funding to aid any contamination cleanup from PCE and help ensure better environmental and public health. It also means individualized attention and technical assistance from EPA,” Ranking Member Capito said. “I visited the Paden City water department last year and saw firsthand how hard their team works to provide safe, clean drinking water and reliable wastewater to the community. Today’s announcement can give Paden City residents peace of mind that any residual pollution in their community is being properly dealt with.” 

“For far too long, the residents of Paden City have been dealing with contaminated drinking water that has impacted their lives on a daily basis. The inclusion of Paden City on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) is a step in the right direction to finding a permanent and long-term solution to the groundwater issues facing Paden City. I will continue working with Paden City, the EPA and state officials to clean up Paden City’s groundwater and fight to ensure all West Virginians have clean drinking water, no matter where they live,” said Senator Manchin.

BACKGROUND:

Since the beginning of her time in the Senate, Senator Capito has been an ardent supporter of Paden City’s water and wastewater improvement projects, securing more than $10 million in federal funding to assist with challenges in the area:

  • In 2015, Senator Capito announced a $2.9 million loan and $471,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development office for needed improvements to the city’s waste water system.
  • In 2019, Senator Capito announced $500,000 in emergency funding from the USDA to help the city deal with water treatment issues directly tied to PCE contamination from a dry cleaning facility.
  • In 2020, Senator Capito announced a $5.165 million grant from USDA to restore water storage tanks, replace damaged pipelines, and improve the current distribution system.
  • In 2021, Senator Capito helped secured $1.525 million in funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) FY21Work Plan to finalize Paden City’s sewer project.

Senator Capito also worked to ensure Minden, West Virginia—including the Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek area—was added to EPA’s NPL in 2019.

The NPL includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at sites included on the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup.