Cuts to Superfund Threaten Clean-Ups, says Nation’s Engineering Industry

Type:  General 

For Immediate Release                           June 26, 2017

Alan D. Crockett, ACEC, 202-682-4301;


Cuts to Superfund Threaten Clean-Ups, says

Nation’s Engineering Industry


WASHINGTON, DC – An independent study of EPA’s Superfund program—which cleans up the nation’s highest priority contaminated sites—has cited reductions in funding and a reduced rate of clean-ups that according to the nation’s engineering business association, should be a wake-up call to Congress and the federal government.


Titled Superfund 2017: Cleanup Accomplishments and the Challenges Ahead, the study documents a decline in annual Superfund appropriations from a high of $1.9 billion in FY 2000 to a low of $1.09 billion in FY 2016 (in constant 2016 dollars), even as new contaminated sites continue to be added to the National Priorities List (NPL).  For FY 2018, the Trump Administration has proposed to cut $330 million more from the program. 


“Funding for Superfund has been trending downward, and the Administration has proposed even deeper cuts, putting at risk the progress that has been made in cleaning up many of the nation’s contaminated sites,” said ACEC President and CEO David A. Raymond.  Raymond noted that two-thirds of the non-federal sites on the NPL have been cleaned up or are nearing completion, but raised concerns about how the proposed funding cuts will affect the pace of cleanup at the remaining sites.


The study was authored by Katherine N. Probst, an independent analyst who prepared a landmark report to Congress in 2001 that estimated the future funding needs for the Superfund program and highlighted issues affecting clean-ups.  The new study -- commissioned by ACEC – builds on the previous work, providing extensive data on the program from FY 2000 through FY 2016, as well as recommendations for program improvements, including better estimates of the future cost of completing work at non-federal NPL sites. 


ACEC funded the study, but Ms. Probst is the sole author and was guaranteed complete independence in all aspects of the work.


“This is a very timely study at a critical point in the federal appropriations process,” added Raymond, “and should be used by Congress, government agencies, and private firms to effectively guide the program going forward.”


The full text of Superfund 2017: Cleanup Accomplishments and the Challenges Ahead can be found at ACEC Superfund 2017.


The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,000 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water, energy and commercial infrastructure.  Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.