The Church Rock uranium mill spill occurred in New Mexico on July 16, 1979 when United Nuclear Corporation's Church Rock uranium mill tailings disposal pond breached its dam. Over 1,000 tons of solid radioactive mill waste and 93 millions of gallons of acidic, radioactive tailings solution flowed into the Puerco River, and contaminants traveled 80 miles (130 km) downstream to Navajo County, Arizona and onto the Navajo Nation. The accident released more radiation than the Three Mile Island accident that occurred four months earlier and was the largest release of radioactive material in U.S. history.
Newtown Creek, located in the City of New York, is a part of the New York – New Jersey Harbor Estuary and forms the northern border of the Borough of Brooklyn and the southern border of the borough of Queens. In the mid 1800s, the area adjacent to the 3.8 mile Newtown Creek was one of the busiest hubs of industrial activity in New York City. More than 50 refineries were located along its banks, including oil refineries, petrochemical plants, fertilizer and glue factories, sawmills, and lumber and coal yards. Today, as a result of its industrial history, including countless spills, Newtown Creek is one of the nation’s most polluted waterways.
The 550-acre South Bay Asbestos Area site is located on the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay. Portions of the site served as dumping areas for over 30 years. Three landfills located within the site boundaries received asbestos wastes from an asbestos-cement pipe manufacturing plant, located 4 miles south of the site, that operated from 1953 until 1982. Approximately 1,700 people live in Alviso. The levee also abuts wetland areas next to a National Wildlife Refuge.
The Chevron Questa Mine site includes an operational, underground mine, mill and tailing disposal facility. Several massive piles of acid-generating waste rock and more than 100 million tons of tailings have contaminated the soil, ground water and surface water, mainly with metals. The Red River, which flows past the site and is home to a cold-water state fish hatchery, has also become contaminated. As a result, the Chevron Questa Mine site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List for federal cleanup in September 2011.
The mine operated from 1854 to the early 1970s, and was the second most productive mercury mine in North America, producing over 38 million pounds of mercury. Extensive waste rock and calcine tailings piles (0.5 to 2 million tons) cover over 40 acres at the Site and have no engineered liner or drainage controls. A large furnace and process area and other mine working features remain at the Site. The extensive mine levels have flooded with water which reacts with the high iron and sulfur content of the bedrock to form an acidic solution, typically known as acid mine drainage (AMD). The AMD is presently not contained and flows through tailings piles and discharges to San Carlos Creek
Grants Chlorinated Solvents Superfund site in Grants, New Mexico, is an area of contaminated groundwater containing chlorinated solvents at concentrations greater than EPA drinking water standards. Long-term exposure to chlorinated solvents can cause chronic skin problems, and/or damage to the nervous system, kidneys or liver, among other effects. EPA is conducting a groundwater cleanup. The selected remedy includes mitigation for vapor intrusion and thermal and chemical dechlorination technologies to address shallow and deep ground water contamination.
Located in Richmond Harbor, an inlet of San Francisco Bay. It includes five acres of land and about 15 acres of marine sediments in two channels. From 1947 through 1966, several companies, used the site to formulate, package, and ship pesticides. Although many pesticides were handled at United Heckathorn, dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) accounted for approximately 95 percent of Heckathorn's operations. Although this is an industrial area, approximately 10,900 people live within one mile of the site. Post-remediation monitoring found that unacceptably high levels of pesticides remain in Lauritzen Channel.
200 miles of the Hudson River is classified by EPA as a Superfund site – one of the largest in the country. Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were widely used as a fire preventive and insulator in the manufacture of electrical devices, like transformers and capacitors, because of their ability to withstand exceptionally high temperatures. It is estimated that approximately 1.3 million pounds of PCBs were discharged into the Hudson River from two General Electric (GE) capacitor manufacturing plants located in the towns of Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, New York. PCBs are considered probable human carcinogens and are linked to other adverse health effects such as low birth weight, thyroid disease, and learning, memory, and immune system disorders.
Halaco Engineering Company operated a secondary metal smelter at the site from 1965 to 2004, recovering aluminum, magnesium, and zinc from dross, castings, cans, car parts, and other scrap metal. Immediately adjacent to the Site is a portion of the Ormond Beach wetlands, which are one of the few remaining wetlands in the area and home to several endangered or threatened species. During its 40 years of operation, Halaco produced a large quantity of waste (i.e., slag) containing residual metals from the smelting process. From about 1965 to 1970, Halaco discharged waste into unlined settling ponds in or adjacent to the Oxnard Industrial Drain. From about 1970 to 2002, Halaco deposited wastes into unlined earthen settling ponds east of the smelter. More than 700,000 cubic yards of waste remain on-site.