I tend to fear industrious incompetence most of all.
With all that being said what isn't clear to me while the EPA messed up, and probably should have known better, what is the alternative? I get the impression that all the efforts at a local/state level were not effective in stopping the contamination, hence why the EPA got more involved. (that's a simplification of the past few decades but I believe it's more or less accurate). Given that the local solutions weren't working, the historical commercial/industrial solutions hadn't worked and didn't have the funding to try more, what is the alternative?
Here's the uncomfortable thing-it probably is a superfund site, despite all the efforts to not label it as such, that's what it is.
I have no dog in the fight mind you, just wonder what the viable alternatives are when folks get done blaming the EPA.