Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation & Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund) –
CERCLA (pronounced SIR-cla) provides a Federal “Superfund” to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous-waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants into the environment. Through the Act, the Environmental Protection Agency was given power to seek out those parties responsible for any release and assure their cooperation in the cleanup. The EPA cleans up orphan sites when potentially responsible parties cannot be identified or located, or when they fail to act. The EPA obtains private party cleanup through orders, consent decrees, and other small party settlements. The EPA also recovers costs from financially viable individuals and companies once a response action has been completed.
Source: River Network