60% of toxic Superfund sites threatened by climate change, GAO finds

Superfund sign

PHIL MCKENNA / INSIDECLIMATE NEWS – Sixty percent of the nation’s heavily polluted Superfund sites – nearly 950 of them – are at risk from the impacts of climate change, including hurricane storm surges and flooding that could spread their toxic legacies into waterways, communities and farmland, a new federal report warns.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office report, released Monday, describes the increased risk of toxic substances being washed out by flooding at sites across the country, as well as wildfire risks that could send health-harming pollutants airborne.

It recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the federal Superfund program, start providing clear, agency-wide instructions on how its officials should incorporate climate change into Superfund site risk assessments and response decisions …

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