The six of 54 Superfund sites surveyed by associated press in Florida before Irma hurricane arrival, all around Miami in low-lying, flood-prone areas. The EPA told that if there is no activity site considered as secured but closely monitored. The sites in various stages of federally directed, long-term cleanup efforts.
The personnel from the Environmental Protection Agency worked to secure. Some of the nation’s most contaminated toxic waste sites as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida. The agency said its employees evacuated personnel. Secured equipment and safeguarded hazardous materials in anticipation of storm surges and heavy rains.
500 Superfund sites are located in flood zones
At the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center on Saturday, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said the EPA workers he’s spoken with seem “generally positive” about the prospects for toxic sites remaining secure in the coming hurricane. But “they can’t guarantee it 100 percent,” he told AP. A nationwide climate change adaptation assessment conducted by EPA under the Obama administration in 2012. Determined that more than 500 Superfund sites are located in flood zones. Nearly 50 are in coastal areas that could also be vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge, including several located in Florida.
A recent analysis for the Government Accountability Office by two researchers at American University found that a storm surge in South Florida of just 1 to 4 feet. It could inundate the half-dozen sites visited in recent days. Irma predicted to push in a wall of water up to 12 feet high. The one-acre Miami Drum Services site. Located over drinking-water aquifer in heavily industrial area of Doral, in west Miami-Dade County. The site was once home to more than 5,000 drums of various chemicals. Some of which dumped onsite after the metal containers washed with a caustic cleaning solution. That solution, mixed with the chemical residues in the drums, leaked into the Biscayne Aquifer, a drinking water source.
At the Homestead Air Reserve Base Superfund site south of Miami, it would take only about a foot of storm surge to swamp the nearly 2,000-acre Superfund site. Numerous apartments and a shopping center with a supermarket are nearby. The EPA needs to do a better job helping people who live near Superfund sites. And stay informed with accurate information said Stephen Sweeney, a former graduate fellow in EPA’s office of policy and one of the American University researchers who conducted the Superfund flooding study.
13 Superfund sites affected by Harvey
These residents need to be aware of their surroundings, and what could be in their water and the floodwater. There needs to be some sort of public communication. Either mass distribution of information or evacuating residents it’s up to the agency to make that call.
The EPA has made significant efforts over the last week to publicize. Its response to flooding at Superfund sites in Texas and allay concerns about similar sites in Florida. At least seven Superfund sites in the Houston region had flooded during Hurricane Harvey.
The aerial imagery reviewed by EPA confirming that 13 of 41 Superfund sites in areas affected by Harvey had flooded and were experiencing possible damage due to the storm. The EPA also confirmed that its own personnel had not yet visited the Houston-area sites.
Since then, EPA has been issuing daily updates about its efforts. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has repeatedly said that cleaning up Superfund sites is among his top policy priorities. He appointed a task force to study the issue quickly, adopting 42 recommendations.
The EPA declined to make Pruitt available for an interview with the AP. But asked about the issue by CNN, he said now is not the time to debate the impacts of global warming.