Supporting Agencies


Dartmouth's Toxic Metals Superfund Research program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (an Institute of the National Institutes of Health) through its Superfund Research Program.

What is Superfund?

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EPA Keep Out Sign

The Superfund is a trust fund made up of revenues from taxes on oil and other chemical compounds that was established for the purpose of cleaning up hazardous waste sites. Public concern over contaminated waste sites - the legacy of mining, industrial processes, manufacturing and military activities - led Congress to establish the Superfund Program in 1980. The program is responsible for locating the most hazardous sites nationwide, determining the parties responsible for the pollution and financing the clean-up of sites when responsible parties are unable to do so, using money from the Superfund Trust.

Our Program is funded by the Superfund Research Program, which was established by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. That act established a university-based program of research within the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) - a division of the National Institutes of Health. Research sponsored by the program uses money from the Superfund Trust, and complements the activities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The program's primary goals are:

  • acquiring a better understanding of the human and ecological risks of hazardous substances and

  • advancing the development of new technologies for the cleanup of contaminated sites.

The program was designed to encourage collaborations among academic scientists across multiple disciplines. For this reason, the program funds interdisciplinary projects that draw on the expertise of researchers from different scientific specialties.

Other Superfund Research Programs

The NIEHS Superfund Research Program, provides funding to 18 multi-project research centers at universities and institutions around the United States. The EPA administers the Superfund clean-up program in cooperation with individual states and tribal governments.