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E-M:/ Superfund: Sierra Club Ads Target Bush Administration on Toxic Waste Cleanups

Ads are running in southeastern Michigan this week --

Subject: Superfund: Sierra Club Ads Target Bush Administration on Toxic Waste Cleanups


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: