Frequent Questions

How does EPA enforce Superfund cleanups?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, commonly referred to as Superfund) provides EPA with enforcement authorities to clean up sites by finding the companies or people responsible for contamination at a site, and negotiating with them to do the clean up themselves, or to pay for the clean up done by another party (i.e., EPA, state, or other responsible parties).
If a responsible party does not agree to do the cleanup, EPA can issue an order to do certain work, or work with the Department of Justice to pursue the party through the federal court system.
If a party is out of compliance with an order or settlement, the Superfund enforcement program takes action to bring them into compliance. Such action may include:
• referring the case to the Department of Justice for enforcement,
• assessing penalties, and/or
• taking over the work
More information is available on EPA’s Superfund enforcement authority webpage.

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