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Hazardous WasteThose sites/facilities determined to be capable of discharging hazardous wastes (excluding nuclear and medical waste) are monitored, regulated and cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov). The EPA categorizes cleanup sites several ways and enlists the aid of state agencies and responsible contaminating parties in the investigation and cleanup.

Superfund Sites are those hazardous contaminant sites with no initially known viable responsible party that require investigation and cleanup. Historically, as a result of EPA's enforcement program, approximately 70% of Superfund cleanups have been performed by the parties responsible for the contamination.

RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) Corrective Action Sites are those hazardous contaminant sites with ongoing operations and viable operators that, with EPA, state agency and operator cooperation, require the investigation and cleanup of contaminant releases.

Federal Facilities are those sites with "hotspots" of contamination from various high-tech or military activities.

Brownfields Properties are commercial or industrial sites, currently vacant or underutilized, and the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.


View the cleanup sites in any of the 39 states tracked by GreatPlacesToRetire. Select a state in the drop-down box below and click the "State Map" button.


Clean WaterWater issues will be important to all people for the future, not just for those living or soon to be retiring in the western states.

Check these sites to learn more about the sources, uses and quality of water where you live or want to live and how you can practice better conservation: EPA Surf Your Watershed or Water Resources of the U.S. for sources and quality and H2OUSE for conservation.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service


Fire WiseEducate yourself on the challenges of living with wildland fire in fireprone areas of the U.S. Learn how to make your house and surrounding community firewise at Firewise Communities/USA.

              Photo courtesy of the National Assoc. of State Foresters


Natural LandscapingLearn how to landscape with native plants and flowers at EPA Greenacres. Improve the environment by conserving water, reducing pollutants, preventing erosion and attracting native birds, butterflies and animals.

Photo courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency

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