Cleanup of the country's most hazardous toxic waste sites has slowed to a crawl without sufficient funding, found a February U.S. PIRG Education Fund report. A House bill now seeks to change that.
The Superfund Reinvestment Act, introduced April 20 by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), would ensure the federal Superfund Trust — which pays for toxic waste cleanups where the liable party cannot be found or cannot pay — is fully funded.
The money for the trust would come through a "Polluters Pay" tax — a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries which, until its expiration in 1995, provided the bulk of the Superfund Trust's funding.
"For too long, polluting industries have had a tax holiday while Americans suffer from both the health impacts and financial burdens caused by toxic waste sites," said Jillian Gordner, U.S. PIRG's Make Polluters Pay campaign associate.
U.S. PIRG is calling for swift passage of the legislation.
Photo: Cleanup of federally owned Superfund Sites has fallen precipitously over the past two decades without adequate funding, found a February report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Credit: markzvo via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain