‘Polluter Pays’ Tax Could Jump-Start Languishing Superfund Cleanups

"In a report, two environmental organizations call on the EPA to focus remediation, especially now with threats linked to climate change threatening to disperse the toxic wastes."

"Toxic Superfund sites vulnerable to flooding, hurricanes and wildfires driven by climate change should be prioritized for cleanup with funds from a tax on polluting industries reinstated in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan approved by Congress last month, two environmental watchdog organizations urge in a new report.

The number of unfunded Superfund sites awaiting cleanup has grown from nine in 2005 to 37 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2021 books. The increase has come as federal investigators say 60 percent of all Superfund sites are threatened by climate change.

The newly-signed infrastructure package imposes roughly $14 billion in fees on industry polluters over the next decade for Superfund cleanups. The so-called polluters pay tax is projected to bring the balance in the Superfund Trust Fund up to $1.8 billion by the end of the fiscal year from $67 million at the start of fiscal 2022."

David Hasemyer reports for Inside Climate News December 9, 2021.

Source: Inside Climate News, 12/10/2021