Where Art Thou Superfund?

Find a toxic waste dump near you! (And then don't go there.)

Illustrated by: National Geographic

There are 1,700 toxic waste sites across the country, and chances are there’s one in your neck of the woods. About 11 million people live within one mile of a Superfund site, which is a hazardous waste area slated for cleanup by the federal government. Congress started the Superfund program in 1980, promising to use taxpayer dollars to clean up places where industries like mines, asbestos plants, and chemical companies (Love Canal, anyone?) dumped pollution and then skedaddled or went bankrupt. The relatively small state of New Jersey tops the list with more than 115 sites. Nevada has just one. So far, around 350 sites have been remediated, usually after being on the list for decades. 

Do you live near one of these toxic messes? Check out National Geographic’s Superfund finder. It's super fun! (Well, not really...) 


onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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