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ACC: Responsible Parties Paying for Superfund Site Cleanup

Article-ACC: Responsible Parties Paying for Superfund Site Cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for the reinstatement of Superfund taxes. American Chemistry Council (ACC) president and CEO Cal Dooley issued the following statement:

“EPA’s call for the re-imposition of Superfund taxes is a lose-lose for the environment and the economy. We read with particular interest EPA’s comment that ‘parties who benefit from the manufacture or sale of substances commonly found in contaminated sites contribute to the cost of cleanup.’ The fact is, since the taxes expired in 1995, responsible parties have continued paying for the cleanup of Superfund sites and continue to reimburse EPA for all of its cleanup costs. America’s chemical makers and others targeted by the Superfund tax have paid for site remediation several times over: We paid for sites for which we were responsible, we helped pay for ‘orphan’ sites where we were not the responsible party, and we paid corporate taxes such as the Corporate Environmental Income Tax. It would be inappropriate and unfair to impose Superfund taxes on companies with no responsibility for site contamination.

“Even worse, EPA’s suggestion is in direct conflict with Congress’s desire to grow U.S. jobs and President Obama’s stated goal of doubling U.S. exports. The re-imposition of Superfund taxes will simply give our foreign competitors, who don’t pay the tax, yet another advantage. We’ll see the loss of U.S. market share, the importation of finished products, the loss of American jobs, and even the tax revenue Congress was seeking in the first place.

“It’s important to understand that Superfund taxes do not control the pace of cleanup, and the taxes have never correlated to EPA’s annual Superfund budget, which is instead determined through the Congressional appropriations process. The budget challenges facing Congress are not a valid justification for taking action that will cost U.S. jobs and damage our nation’s global competitiveness without positively affecting site remediation.

“The U.S. chemical industry employs more than 800,000 Americans and creates over five million jobs in downstream sectors. The industry is already facing slumping demand from the recession, continued high costs for energy, intense foreign competition, and razor-thin margins. It’s imperative that Congress recognize the short-sighted nature of EPA’s proposal and reject the re-imposition of Superfund taxes.”

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