Comprehensive Environmental Response (CERCLIS)


Source U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
File Size 590 MB
Dates Covered As of January 2007
Cost Snapshot

  • Nonmembers $150
  • Members $50
Categories: ,


The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) database maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency contains general information on sites across the nation and U.S. territories including location, status, contaminants and actions taken.The database includes potential and confirmed hazardous waste sites at which the EPA Superfund Program has some involvement. It contains sites that are either proposed to be or are on the National Priorities List (NPL) as well as sites that are in the screening and assessment phase for possible inclusion on the NPL.The data is searchable by site name, state, ZIP Code, county, type of site, remedial activities, and more. If you are looking for a specific site and cannot find it in the current CERCLIS database it may be on the list of archived sites.

The archive designation means that, to the best of the EPAs knowledge, assessment at a site has been completed and the EPA has determined no further steps will be taken to list this site on the National Priorities List (NPL). This database contains both the archived and current sites.

Although you can download portions of this data for free off the EPAs Web site, NICAR data analysts have done a significant amount of cleaning to make this data easier to use. Fields containing standard date formats and mappable latitude and longitude have been added. Two tables not downloadable from the EPA Web site are also included and contain information on contaminants and responsible parties.

NICAR also provides detailed field descriptions and help with linking the main tables with the lookup table.

Record layouts and samples of this database

Main documentation (readme_1.txt) 12.5 KB
Sample Data, Site table (site_sample.xls) 61.1 KB
Record Layout, Full database (record layout_2.xls) 78.0 KB

Related Tipsheets

  • Resources for Covering Disasters
    Nixon lists resources and databases that are helpful when covering natural disasters. The list includes four NICAR databases, such as Federal Contracts, and nine other resources, like the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.