Superfund Environmental Benefits Analysis System

Challenge: Superfund sites and many more less critical but still hazardous sites are all good candidates for clean-up. Each site presents its own apparent reasons for clean-up, whether evidenced by the level of toxicity or the amount of negative press and attendant neighborhood advocacy. The major question remains which sites are most critical for clean-up and where should limited funding be targeted in order to gain largest bang for the buck.

Solution: ICF GIS Lab staff developed this custom SEBAS spatial decision support tool for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to help them visualize resources that might be affected by hazardous waste sites, and to quantify the potential economic benefits of cleaning up those sites. SEBAS displays EPA Superfund sites together with detailed street maps, census data, and endangered species information. It integrates housing cost data from the 1990 Census with an econometric model to generate site-specific estimates of the benefits of doing a site cleanup. SEBAS is based upon MapInfo software, includes extensive copyright-free U.S. Census Bureau TIGER and STF-3A data, and is distributed on CD-ROM disks produced at ICF. It can be Installed on PC’s and used by policymakers with no mapping experience

Benefit: This very portable system provides access to critical estimations of money to be saved by rehabilitating certain sites over other sites. Thematic map layers provide environmental site-specific information useful to the policymaker.