Charleston, W.Va. – Sen. Joe Manchin announced new information concerning Paden City.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of the proposed addition of 13 sites, including Paden City Groundwater, to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Sites are added to the NPL when the land’s contamination poses significant human health and environmental risks and are then eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup projects. Untreated groundwater in Paden City was discovered to contain the solvent tetrachloroethylene (PCE) at levels higher than the EPA’s maximum contaminant levels.
“Every West Virginian deserves fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink but for too long, this has not been the reality for Paden City residents. This announcement is a step in the right direction to find a permanent and long term solution to the groundwater issues facing Paden City. This designation would move Paden City toward qualifying for federal funding for long-term projects to clean up the polluted water. I will continue to work with the EPA to help clean up Paden City’s groundwater and fight to ensure all West Virginians have access to clean drinking water,” said Senator Manchin.
“EPA recognizes that no community deserves to have contaminated sites near where they live, work, pray, and go to school. By adding sites to the Superfund NPL, we are helping to ensure that more communities living near the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination have the protection they deserve,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to increasing funding and working with Congress on the bipartisan infrastructure deal to provide the Superfund Program with the resources it needs to address a backlog of sites awaiting cleanup, as well as additional sites in need of cleanup.”
Senator Manchin has been working to ensure access to clean drinking water in every corner of West Virginia. In April, Senator Manchin secured West Virginia priorities in the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 that passed the Senate 89-2. In August, the Senate passed Senator Manchin’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 69-30, which includes a historic $55 billion investment in clean drinking water across the country, and $3.5 billion for clean-ups at Superfund sites across the country. West Virginia is expected to receive more than $486 million to support and improve water infrastructure across the state.
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.
EPA proposes sites to the NPL based on a scientific determination of risks to people and the environment, consistent with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.
Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited for significant reductions in both birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24 percent within three miles of sites after cleanup.
Further, thanks to Superfund cleanups, communities are now using previously blighted properties for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. As of 2020, EPA has collected economic data on 632 Superfund sites, finding 9,900 businesses in operation, 227,000 people employed, $16.3 billion in employee-earned income, and $63.3 billion in business-generated sales.