Issue Date: August 25, 2008
Spending On Superfund Cleanups drops
EPA is spending less and less on its Superfund program, primarily because it is putting fewer dollars toward the actual cleanup of hazardous waste, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office last week. GAO finds that EPA's overall Superfund expenditures declined nearly 30% in constant dollars over eight years, dropping from $1.8 billion in 1999 to $1.3 billion in 2007. Most of the decrease, GAO states in its report, is due to a decline in site cleanup expenditures, which account for more than three-quarters of annual Superfund spending. The report also finds that congressional appropriations provide about 59% of the annual Superfund dollars spent, with fines, penalties, and reimbursements for government-led cleanups together making up another 19% of the money expended each year. Interest and taxes account for the rest. The report (GAO-08-841R) is available at gao.gov.
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