Superfund site construction completed

68 68 61

1983 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Fiscal year source: "Figure V-1. Superfund Construction Completions by Fiscal Year," in Final Report: Superfund Subcommittee of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, April 12, 2004, naceptdocs/NACEPTsuperfund-Final-Report.pdf (accessed August 4, 2005)

goals. It simply means that the engineering/construction phase of site clean-up is completed.

As of July 1, 2005, the EPA has deleted (removed) 299 sites from the NPL. Sites are deleted when the EPA determines that ''no further federal steps under CERCLA are appropriate.'' As shown in Table 8.4, more sites were proposed to the NPL (386) than were deleted (262) over the time period 1992-2005.

According to the EPA, more than three times as many Superfund sites were cleaned up between 1993 and 2000 than in all of the prior years of the program combined. (See Figure 8.7.) However, many NPL sites are still years away from being cleaned up.

funding for superfund. Funding for the Superfund program is derived through two major sources: the Superfund Trust Fund and monies appropriated from the federal government's general fund.

The Superfund Trust Fund was set up as part of the original Superfund legislation of 1980. It was designed to help the EPA pay for cleanups and related program activities. Figure 8.8 shows the Superfund budget history between 1981 and 2005. Until 1995 the Superfund Trust Fund was financed primarily by dedicated taxes collected from companies in the chemical and crude oil industries. The system was extremely unpopular with many corporations arguing that environmentally responsible companies should not have to pay for the mistakes of others. In 1995 the tax was eliminated.

The Superfund Trust Fund is also financed through cost recoveries—money that the EPA recovers through legal settlements with responsible parties. The EPA is authorized to compel parties responsible for creating hazardous pollution, such as waste generators, waste haulers, site owners, or site operators, to clean up the sites. If these parties cannot be found, or if a settlement cannot be reached, the Superfund program finances the cleanup. After completing a cleanup, the EPA can take action against the responsible parties to recover costs and replenish the fund. The average cost of cleanup is about $30 million, large enough to make it worthwhile for parties to pursue legal means to spread the costs among large numbers of responsible parties. Many cleanups involve dozens of parties.

Disputes have arisen between industries and cities over who is responsible for a cleanup, and numerous lawsuits have been filed by industries against cities over responsibility for what is usually a huge expense. Many businesses

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