Editorial: Superfund, no longer such a super fund

new jersey environment, EPA superfund

NEWS & OBSERVER – Oh, the Superfund program created in 1980 was a very good idea. Industries and businesses would be held accountable, through taxes, for polluting communities all over the United States. Those taxes – paid by landfill owners, chemical companies and industrial manufacturers – paid for cleanups of polluted sites, an often expensive proposition.

We know just how expensive because since the Superfund taxes expired in 1995, the cleanup and oversight costs for waste-polluted properties have run to more than $21 billion. And the money’s easy to track because it’s been paid by – you guessed it – taxpayers. Many hundreds of companies responsible for the contamination of water have paid nothing, because they’re out of business, they can’t be identified because of a change in ownership or oversight or they just can’t afford to pay for the cleanup …

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