Essay on Hazardous Waste and Superfund Sites

1146 Words Feb 7th, 2011 5 Pages
Strain on Superfund
At its inception, Superfund was initially asked to identify and clean-up hazardous waste sites. However, thirty years later the United States is facing additional new threats to the health and safety of the American people. The Superfund sites themselves are becoming “nightmares to deal with, due to disturbances and damage caused by extreme weather conditions brought on by climate change” (Treadman, 2010). The EPA website states, “hazardous waste sites can discharge and release large quantities of toxic substances when subject to flooding, tornados and hurricanes” (EPA, 2010). The additional costs of cleanup, and disruptions caused by extreme weather events have caused a tremendous financial burden on an already ailing
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By zeroing in on clean-up, Superfund money can be better spent on the most important aspect of Superfund, which is the elimination of toxic waste sites and less on administrative costs associated with research and development (Eilperin, 2010).
It does seem that most proponents agree there is only one solution, Congress has to step up and reinstate the polluter pays fees. Without corporate assistance, there is just not enough money to do the important job of cleaning up these toxic waste sites nor is it fair to expect the American taxpayers to pay for 100% of the annual costs of this program. “Corporate polluters must once again contribute to the costs of cleaning up these contaminated sites” (Lester & Rabe, 2008).
Superfund Opponents
Those against Superfund reauthorization maintain that industries are responsibly handling the matter of hazardous waste sites, and have invested a lot of resources and money to clean up waste sites. In addition, these industries have a vested interest in achieving a cost-effective cleanup in a timely manner (LaGrega, Buckingham & Evans, 2001).
Opponents state that the Superfund fees imposed on industry often go to government pork programs, and not to the clean-up of contaminated sites as warranted. Charles Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association stated that industry policy is now "policymakers -- Congress and the administration -- have simply got to stop using the domestic

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