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Federal Superfund Program

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency works with the TCEQ under the federal Superfund environmental program and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to assess and clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).

The federal government enacted CERCLA after toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal and Times Beach were discovered in the 1970s. The federal Superfund was originally funded by taxes on industry, but the authority to collect those taxes expired in 1995 and now it is largely funded by general revenues.

Environmental Protection Agency Oversight

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the federal Superfund program. The EPA provides grant funding to the TCEQ Superfund program, which, in turn supports the EPA in management of federal Superfund sites.


The federal Superfund program addresses contamination at sites on the EPA's National Priorities List (NPL). Sites may be eligible for inclusion on the NPL by scoring 28.5 or above through the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). Sites which do not qualify for the NPL may be addressed through the state Superfund program.

Sites are addressed through a multi-phase investigation, cleanup, and post-completion care approach. Throughout the process, the public and potentially responsible parties are kept apprised through public notifications and meetings. When potentially responsible parties are conducting the work at Superfund sites, the EPA oversees the work and coordinates with the TCEQ.

Federal Superfund Laws

  • CERCLA and Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization (SARA )
  • National Contingency Plan (NCP )