Superfund Reinvestment Act would bring back 'Polluters Pay' tax

A new bill aims to speed up toxic waste cleanups

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Henry Hintermeister
Creative Associate

Author: Henry Hintermeister

Creative Associate

 

Started on staff: 2019
B.A., magna cum laude, Tufts University

Henry grew up in southern Maine, where he developed his love for hiking, kayaking and track & field. He currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his girlfriend and enjoys getting together with family, reading fiction, listening to NPR and playing soccer.

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.

Read more.

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

Take Action
Tell your U.S. House representative: Support the Superfund Reinvestment Act.

The industries that create so much of our pollution should also have a leading role in paying for the cleanup. Tell your U.S. House representative: Make polluters pay for Superfund cleanup by passing the Superfund Reinvestment Act.

Henry Hintermeister
Creative Associate

Author: Henry Hintermeister

Creative Associate

 

Started on staff: 2019
B.A., magna cum laude, Tufts University

Henry grew up in southern Maine, where he developed his love for hiking, kayaking and track & field. He currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with his girlfriend and enjoys getting together with family, reading fiction, listening to NPR and playing soccer.