Superfund Sites to Remain Toxic Due to Lack of Funding

According to the U.S. EPA’s inspector general, the Superfund program faces a $175 million shortfall this year; as a result, cleanup will not begin on 11 of the nation’s worst toxic waste sites. Superfund was established in 1980 as an attempt to force polluting industries to pay to clean up their messes. Cleanup of toxic sites directly attributable to a company are paid for by that company, while others are paid for from a fund maintained through a special tax on polluting industries. However, in 1995 a Republican Congress refused to renew the tax, and President Bush has not asked them to reverse that decision. As a result, the fund is almost out of money. Presumably taxpayers will pick up the bill from now on. Super!