[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 157 (Tuesday, August 13, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41959-41960]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-20460]



40 CFR Part 300


National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan; 
National Priorities List

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of deletion of the Whitewood Creek Site from the 
National Priorities List (NPL).


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the 
deletion of the Whitewood Creek Site (Site) in Butte, Meade and 
Lawrence Counties, South Dakota, from the National Priorities List 
(NPL). The NPL is Appendix B of title 40 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations part 300 which is the National Oil and Hazardous Substances 
Contingency Plan (NCP), which EPA promulgated pursuant to section 105 
of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended. EPA in consultation with 
the state of South Dakota have determined that the Site poses no 
significant threat to public health or the environment and, therefore, 
no further remedial measures pursuant to CERCLA, other than required 
operations and maintenance (O&M), are appropriate.

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 13, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael H. McCeney, Remedial Project 
Manager, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, 999 18th 
Street, Suite 500, Mailcode: 8EPR-SR, Denver, CO 80202, telephone 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The site to be deleted from the NPL is: The 
Whitewood Creek Site in Butte, Meade, and Lawrence Counties, South 
    A Notice of Intent to Delete for this site was published on 
November 30, 1995, (60 FR 61507). The closing date for comments on the 
Notice of Intent to Delete was January 2, 1996. Three comments were 
received during the comment period. Two of the comments received voiced 
support for the proposed action. In response, EPA agrees that the Site 
should be deleted from the NPL.
    The third comment was from a landowner and current resident at the 
Site. The commenter was concerned with two aspects of the remedy 
implemented at the Site: (1) The impacts that the remedy will have on 
property values at the Site, and (2) the long-term effectiveness of the 
remedy given the potential for re-contamination of remediated areas at 
the Site.
    In response to the first concern, EPA recognizes that the Superfund 
law has inadvertently had adverse effects on real estate values and 
transactions. These problems typically arise as a result of concerns on 
the part of lending institutions. Three common concerns expressed by 
lenders are: (1) The uncertainty associated with not knowing what 
cleanup actions EPA might ultimately require at a site; (2) the fear 
that the lender may assume liability in the event that they take 
possession of a Superfund site through foreclosure of loans; and (3) 
the fear that the loan applicant might be held liable for cleanup costs 
at a site.
    At the Whitewood Creek Site, the first lender concern probably does 
not apply since EPA has determined that the Site poses no significant 
threat to public health and the environment and that all required 
response actions, except for required O&M, have been completed at the 
Site. All O&M, except that related to future land development at the 
Site, is the responsibility of the Homestake Mining Company (Homestake) 
under the terms of a consent decree with EPA.
    To help allay the second lender concern, EPA has implemented a 
policy whereby lenders will not be held liable as a result of 
foreclosures on loans. EPA set forth this policy in a memorandum 
entitled ``Policy on CERCLA Enforcement Against Lenders and Government 
Entities that Acquire Property Involuntarily'', dated September 22, 
    To help allay the third concern of lenders, in situations where a 
Superfund site is used for residential purposes, EPA implemented a 
policy whereby residential landowners will not be held responsible for 
response costs related to cleanup at their property. This policy is set 
forth in EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response directive 
number 9834.6, dated July 3, 1991.
    EPA believes that these and other policies have successfully 
curtailed many of the effects that Superfund sites may have had on 
property values. If lenders do have concerns over granting loans on 
Whitewood Creek Superfund Site property, EPA Region VIII staff are 
available to discuss those concerns and provide information necessary 
to help resolve the situation.
    In response to the commentor's second concern, EPA acknowledges 
that, given the nature of the residual contamination which remains at 
the Whitewood Creek Site, there is a potential for recontamination to 
occur in residential areas that were cleaned up as part of the remedy. 
For this reason, EPA is required to assess the conditions at the Site 
no less often than once every five years following the start of 
remedial action at the Site. The first five year review at the Site 
will therefore take place in 1996. As part of the five year review, 
Homestake, under the terms of a consent decree with EPA, will conduct 
soil sampling in residential yards cleaned up as part of the remedy. 
Any yards that are found to be recontaminated above the action level 
set forth in the ROD (100 milligrams per kilogram arsenic) will be 
cleaned up again by Homestake. Deletion of the Site from the NPL does 
not affect this process nor does it affect Homestake's obligations 
under the Consent Decree.
    EPA identifies sites that appear to present a significant risk to 
public health, welfare, or the environment and it maintains the NPL as 
the list of those sites. Any site deleted from the NPL remains eligible 
for Fund-financed remedial actions in the unlikely event that 
conditions at the site warrant such action in the future, NCP 
Sec. 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP. Deletion of a site from the NPL does not 
affect responsible party liability or impede agency efforts to recover 
costs associated with response efforts.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Hazardous Waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water 
pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: August 1, 1996.
Max H. Dodson,
Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region VIII.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR part 300 is amended 
as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 300 continues to read as 

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 
12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR,

[[Page 41960]]

1991 Comp., p 351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923; 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 

Appendix B--[Amended]

    2. Table 1 of Appendix B to part 300 is amended by removing the 
site for Whitewood Creek Site, CS, South Dakota.

[FR Doc. 96-20460 Filed 8-12-96; 8:45 am]