Ads are running in southeastern Michigan this week --
For Immediate Release: March 23, 2004
Contact: Annie Strickler, (202) 675-2384
Sierra Club Ads Target Bush Administration on Toxic Waste Cleanups
Failure to Relieve Superfund Tax Burden, Protect Communities Highlighted
Washington, DC: The Sierra Club began running ads to educate the public
about the Bush administration's failure to make polluters pay for the
cleanup of their toxic messes, putting communities across America at risk.
This week, the Sierra Club will have a combination of TV and radio ads in
four states highlighting the Bush administration's refusal to support the
"polluter pays" principle that would relieve taxpayers of the significant
financial burden of cleaning up abandoned toxic waste sites.
Television ads will run in Tampa, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Detroit, Michigan, and a radio ad will run in Omaha, Nebraska. The ads
highlight the following toxic sites: Velsicol Plant in St. Louis, MI near
the Pine River; Port Richmond in Philadelphia, PA; Coronet site in Plant
City, FL; and Omaha Lead Site in Omaha, NE.
"The Bush administration has abandoned the landmark principle that
corporate polluters should be held responsible for the toxic messes they
leave behind and has instead saddled taxpayers with the financial burden of
cleanups," said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. "We're
making sure the public knows the Bush Administration consistently favors
industry profits over Americans' health and safety."
The Pennsylvania ad highlights "Port Richmond -- a typical Northeast
Philadelphia community, except for its neighbor, an abandoned slag heap
contaminated with lead that won't be cleaned up unless we pay. The Bush
administration says polluters no longer have to pay to clean up the mess
they leave behind -- taxpayers do that means less money, fewer cleanups and
more families at risk. Mr. President, there is a better way."
"We're not only on the air, we're on the ground too," said Pope. "In each
of these states we are mobilizing our activists to get the word out. At
their doorsteps and on the phone, Sierra Club volunteers are letting their
neighbors know that there is better way to keep our communities safe and
The landmark Superfund program ran out of polluter-contributed funds last
year. With close to 1,300 toxic waste sites still in need of cleanup, the
ramifications of a dwindling polluter trust fund to cleanup toxic waste
places our communities and environment at risk. Already, 1 in 4 Americans
lives within 4 miles of a toxic waste site that is considered a Superfund
cleanup priority. Once a site is listed on the Superfund National Priority
List, it takes on average 11 years before the cleanup is complete. Without
the polluter-funded trust fund, sites are forced to compete with other
Superfund sites and the entire program competes with other federal
environmental priorities. The rate of completed cleanups has fallen by 50
percent under the Bush administration compared to 1997-2000, and site
listings have slowed down as well.
To listen to or view the ads, please visit: