The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added two new hazardous waste sites in the southeast to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites, a federal program that investigates and cleans up complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

The two sites in the southeast that have been added to the NPL include Armstrong World Industries, a ceiling tile manufacturer in Macon, Georgia and Horton Iron and Metal, a former fertilizer manufacturer and metal salvage in Wilmington, North Carolina.

These two sites have been found contaminated with arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, dichloroethene, lead, mercury, polynuclear aromatic hydrcarbons, PCBs, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethane, trichloroethene, vinyl chloride, and zinc that pose risk to health and environment.

With all Superfund sites, EPA investigates to determine the full extent of the contamination and then tries to identify the parties potentially responsible for the contamination either to fund the cleanup or conduct the cleanup with EPA oversight.

EPA adds the contaminated sites to the list based on health advisory from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry of the US Department of Health and Human Services that recommends removing people from the site.

Following this, EPA determines whether to use its remedial authority or to deploy its emergency removal authority to respond to the site.