Vapor Intrusion

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Latest Developments…

    Citizen activists Feb. 24 strongly endorsed evaluating the risk posed by vapor intrusion into buildings when determining whether a site qualifies for cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. All nine speakers who participated in an Environmental Protection Agency webcast “listening session” urged the agency to include vapor intrusion in the Hazard Ranking System—used by EPA to identify sites for the National Priorities List—and many said the agency should address the issue before a final rule is issued. Vapor intrusion describes the migration of chemicals, especially volatile substances, from contaminated groundwater or soil into the atmosphere and is a particular concern if vapors enter an overlying building, according to EPA. Adding vapor intrusion as a component to the Hazard Ranking System would allow the agency to address health risks for children and women of childbearing age, according to an agency document. It also would help EPA address indoor air contamination issues for low-income, minority, indigenous, and Native American communities. EPA announced in a Jan. 31 Federal Register notice that it is seeking public input through April 16 on whether the presence of vapor intrusion should be a criterion in the Hazard Ranking System. EPA will hold additional listening sessions March 16 in San Francisco and March 30 in Albuquerque, N.M.
-- Read more…in Waste Management Guide on the Hazard Ranking System and National Priorities List
-- Review the EPA notice in the Federal Register Archive

Did you know…?
    Although liability under CERCLA generally is strict, joint, and several, in 2002 Congress amended the statute to include several classes of property owners who are shielded from superfund liability to encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield sites.
-- You can find more on superfund liability protection in Waste Management Guide