Superfund Project Funding Still Inadequate

According to the U.S. EPA’s own data, some 111 of the nation’s 1,230 Superfund toxic-waste sites may pose ongoing risks to nearby residents of exposure to health-threatening chemicals, and 251 may pose ongoing risks to groundwater. Superfund program analyst Melanie Hoff notes that at “about 80 percent [of Superfund sites] we feel we have exposures under control,” but hastens to add that it “doesn’t mean that there’s exposure [at the other 20 percent], it means there’s the potential for it to occur.” Sierra Club environmental quality program director Ed Hopkins, who compiled a report on the problem that was released yesterday, says the program’s difficulties result from a shortage of funding, which in turn results from the Bush administration’s refusal to push for renewal of a corporate tax that Congress allowed to expire in 1995. The Superfund trust fund shortfall is now (insufficiently) meliorated by general federal revenues — i.e., your tax dollars.