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Toxic-waste sites hiding in plain sight

Published 9:08 PM ET, Thu March 31, 2016
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Between 1982 and 1987, David T. Hanson photographed toxic-waste sites across the United States. The photos in his new "Wilderness to Wasteland" book include this Superfund site that he shot in Tucson, Arizona, in 1985. The Superfund program is responsible for cleaning up some of the nation's most contaminated land, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Sikes Disposal Pits and the San Jacinto River are photographed near Crosby, Texas, in 1985. From 1955 to 1968, an illegal open dump operated on site, according to the EPA. David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Superfund site at the Tooele Army Depot, in Tooele, Utah, is photographed in 1986. According to the EPA, "site operations, ammunition storage and equipment repair contaminated the soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals." David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Superfund site of the Martin-Marietta Aluminum Co. is photographed in The Dalles, Oregon, in 1986. "Smelting operations took place at the site between 1958 and 1987," according to the EPA. "Site activities and years of improper waste disposal contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Following cleanup, EPA took the site off the Superfund program's National Priorities List in 1996. Operation and maintenance activities and monitoring are ongoing." David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
Waste ponds and the Savannah River are photographed at a Superfund site in Augusta, Georgia, in 1986. David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Aerojet General Corp. Superfund site is photographed in Rancho Cordova, California, in 1985. David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The New Brighton/Arden Hills Superfund site is photographed in New Brighton, Minnesota, in 1985. David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Baxter/Union Pacific Tie Treating Superfund site is photographed near the Laramie River in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1986. "Historical spills and disposal practices contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals," according to the EPA. "Cleanup is ongoing under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act program, administered by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. EPA took the site off the Superfund program's National Priorities List in December 1999." David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Perdido Ground Water Contamination Superfund site is photographed in Perdido, Alabama, in 1986. "In 1965, a train derailment by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad occurred approximately 200 yards east of the intersection of State Highways 47 and 61," according to the EPA. "Chemicals from the derailed tank cars spilled into the drainage ditches along State Highway 61 and caught fire. Later, as a result of the accident, an unknown quantity of benzene that had not been destroyed by the fire eventually penetrated the soil and entered the ground water aquifer." David T. Hanson/Taverner Press
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal Superfund site is photographed in Adams County, Colorado, in 1986. David T. Hanson/Taverner Press