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E-M:/ FW: Bush Administration Announces Proposed Superfund Sites, "Polluter Pays" Vote Set for this Week



The Velsicol Chemical Superfund Site on the Pine River in Saint Louis, Michigan, is one of the most toxic sites in USEPA Region 5, yet lawmakers in that district do not support the polluter-pays concept.  The Velsicol Superfund Site will be among the nation’s most expensive to clean up, estimates go as high as over $190,000,000 – not that EPA will willingly spend that much to actually clean up the Site.  More likely, the agency will be forced to choose the less expensive (and temporary) option of re-containment, leaving the DDT, PBBs, chlorobenzene and other toxic contamination onsite - again - for future generations to deal with. 

 

~~Rita Jack, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Annie.Strickler@sierraclub.org [mailto:Annie.Strickler@sierraclub.org]
Sent: Monday, March 08, 2004 11:41 AM
Subject: Bush Administration Announces Proposed Superfund Sites, "Polluter Pays" Vote Set for this Week

 

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2004

Contact: Annie Strickler, (202) 675-2384

 

          Bush Administration Announces Proposed Superfund Sites,

                  "Polluter Pays" Vote Set for this Week

          Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

 

"The Environmental Protection Agency announced the latest proposed

additions to the Superfund National Priority List today, but the Bush

administration has quashed the importance of this announcement by refusing

to support the polluter-pays principle.

 

"The Bush administration is forcing communities to wait and taxpayers to

pay for toxic cleanups. Already, 1 in 4 Americans, including 10 million

children, lives within 4 miles of a toxic waste site that is considered a

Superfund cleanup priority.

 

"Although it is important to continue to recognize sites like these 11

deserve attention, the rate of site listings and cleanups will continue

their downward spiral under this administration. With the cleanup program

bankrupt of polluter funds, even sites that make it on the list will

compete with other important environmental programs for scarce resources.

 

"If corporate polluters are held responsible for their toxic messes, we can

afford to protect the health and safety of American communities.  The

Senate will have a chance to make this possible later this week."

 

The EPA today announced a proposed rule for listing the following sites to

the Superfund National Priority List:

IN - Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination - Evansville

LA - Devil's Swamp - Ewell Property - Scotlandville

MO - Annapolis Lead Mine - Annapolis

MS - Picayune Wood Treating - Picayune

NM - Grants Chlorinated Solvents Plume - Grants

NY - Diaz Chemical Corporation - Holley

NY - Peninsula Boulevard Ground Water Plume - Hewlett

PA - Ryeland Road Arsenic - Heidelberg Township

PR - Cidra Ground Water Contamination - Cidra

VT - Pike Hill Copper Mine - Corinth

WV - Ravenswood PCE Ground Water Plume - Ravenswood

 

                                BACKGROUND

 

What a "Site Listing" Really Means for Toxic Cleanups

 

Once a site is listed on the NPL, it takes on average 11 years before the

cleanup is complete. And, without the polluter-funded trust fund, sites

will now have to compete with other cash-strapped federal environmental

programs. The rate of completed cleanups has fallen by 50 percent during

the Bush administration compared to 1997-2000, and site listings have

slowed down as well. The Bush administration has added an average of 23

sites a year to the Superfund list compared with an average of 30 sites

from 1993 to 2000, a drop of 23 percent.

 

Senate Expected to Vote on "Polluter Pays" Amendment during Budget Process

 

On Wednesday, Senators Corzine, Boxer and Lautenberg are expected to

cosponsor an amendment to the Budget Bill. This is a straight

reauthorization of the polluter pays fees.  Last year, a vote on a similar

measure was defeated 43-56, and we expect another close vote this week.

 

Report Details how Bush Administration Distorts Truth about Superfund

Cleanups

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is misleading the public about

the Bush Administration's failure to clean up toxic waste sites and protect

public health, according to a new analysis released by the U.S. Public

Interest Research Group and Sierra Club. The report, The Truth About Toxic

Waste Cleanups: How EPA is Misleading the Public About the Superfund

Program, analyzes actual EPA statements and shows that the Bush

administration has provided confusing, misleading, and even false

information to reporters and the public. The report is available at

http://www.sierraclub.org/toxics/factsheets/cleanups.pdf.

 

Inspector General Report Documents Funding Shortfall for Superfund Cleanups

 

An Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General's report released in

January admits that the Bush Administration failed to adequately fund the

clean up of hazardous toxic waste sites in FY2003. The report, a response

to inquiries from U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Jim Jeffords and U.S.

Representatives John Dingell and Hilda Solis, admits to a $174.9 million

shortfall in clean up funding and underscores the Bush Administration's

willingness to leave communities at risk from toxic waste at Superfund

toxic waste sites around the country instead of holding polluting companies

accountable. To read the full report, please visit:

http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2004/20040107-2004-p-00001.pdf

 

Sierra Club to Run Superfund Ads in March

 

As the Bush administration continues to leave communities across the

country at risk, the Sierra Club plans to run ads highlighting the

administration's failure to hold corporate polluters responsible for toxic

cleanups.

 

For more information, please visit:

http://www.sierraclub.org/toxics/superfund/

 

.