What is the "Superfund" Program?

The Superfund program is part of a Federal government effort to clean up land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and that has been identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or to the environment.

The program was created in 1980 when Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The EPA works with communities, "potentially responsible parties" (PRPs), scientists, researchers, contractors, and state, local, tribal, and Federal authorities to identify hazardous waste sites, test the conditions of the sites, formulate cleanup plans, and to decontaminate the sites.

Sites where releases or potential releases have been reported are listed in a searchable EPA database called CERCLIS. CERCLIS was retired in November 2013 and has been replaced by SEMS.

CERCLA was amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in 1986.