Booker, Pallone reintroduces bill to hold polluters responsible for cleaning up Superfund locations
Bill will shift cleanup costs from taxpayers to polluters
WASHINGTON, DC – Today US Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) reintroduced bill in their respective chambers to encourage polluters to clean up contaminated Superfund sites in New Jersey and in the blame the whole country. Booker was helped by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to reinstate the law in the Senate.
The Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act reinstates excise tax on polluting industries and indexes it for inflation to help fund redevelopment of Superfund sites and relieve taxpayers of the costs. It also extends the definition of crude oil to make oil made from tar sands and shale subject to excise duty. In addition, it makes funds available to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on an ongoing basis that are not subject to the annual funds.
“Superfund sites not only contaminate the soil and water – the high levels of carcinogens that are released have increased the risk of cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems.” said Senator Booker. “The stakes couldn’t be higher for New Jerseyans – half of our state lives within three miles of one of these Superfund locations. It is time to fight this injustice, clean up these sites and hold polluting industries accountable for conditions they would never accept in their own communities. “
“The American taxpayer shouldn’t pay for the mistakes of corporate polluters.” said Congressman Pallone. “Superfund locations threaten public health and the environment in New Jersey and across the country, and these locations could be cleaned up faster with adequate funding. The Superfund Polluter Pays Act will replenish the necessary funds by holding companies accountable for environmental degradation. Congress needs to strengthen and pass laws that protect hardworking families from paying for corporate polluters’ misdeeds. “
“Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to fix the failures of businesses that are contaminating our environment and putting our public health at risk. It is time to hold these polluters accountable for the damage they caused and make them pay to clean up these dangerous sites. ” said Senator Menendez. “Paying polluters will help keep the Superfund Trust Fund liquid and effective to both revitalize polluted areas and waters and protect the long-term health of our families and our environment.”
“Superfund sites are a lurking threat to the health of surrounding communities.” said Whitehouse. “We need to hold polluters accountable for the clutter they love to create in someone else’s backyard. Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook to clean up the toxic residue that private industry is leaving behind. “
New Jersey has 114 Superfund locations on the National Priority List (NPL), more than any other state. NPL sites are among the most heavily contaminated properties in the country. They poison local residents, endanger children’s health and hinder economic development in local communities.
According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the EPA does not have sufficient resources to clean the more than 1,300 locations on the agency’s list of the most polluted areas, including 89 locations where people are exposed to “unacceptable” substances that can lead to birth defects, cancer and developmental disorders.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.
(Visited 3 times, visited 3 times today)