by Neil Stalter | Zoom Out Mycology
As of September 2015, 17% of Americans (and 18% of all children under the age of 5) live within three miles of a superfund site. 4% (or 12 million people) live within 1 mile of a superfund site. As of this writing, there are currently 1,341 superfund sites in the United States. For a long time, when I heard “superfund” I knew it was a place I didn’t want to spend my spring break, but I did not appreciate just how ubiquitous these places that risk “hazardous substance release” are. There is at least 1 such Superfund site in every state except for North Dakota. New Jersey is the state with the most, at 114 unique sites. But what are these places, how did they come to be, and how dangerous are they really? By giving a history of the Superfund program, examining its current state of affairs, and understanding the strategies the EPA uses to clean up these locations, we can begin to answer some of the questions you probably have about this program.
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