Issue Date: March 7, 2011
Superfund Tax Bill Introduced
Legislation to reimpose a tax on chemicals and crude oil to pay for environmental cleanups was introduced in the Senate on March 2. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) submitted the bill, which is identical to legislation he introduced last March (C&EN, April 19, 2010, page 32). Lautenberg estimates that the tax would raise $2 billion annually for EPA to use for the cleanup of abandoned hazardous waste sites under the agency’s Superfund program. The tax, originally imposed in 1980 to create the eponymous Superfund, assesses a fee of 9.7 cents per barrel of crude oil or 22 cents to $4.87 per ton on some 42 different chemicals. “Reinstating the polluter-pays fee is a commonsense solution to reducing the deficit while ensuring environmental protection,” Lautenberg said in a statement. “This legislation would shift the burden away from taxpayers and back to the industries.” The chemical and petroleum industries have consistently opposed reinstatement of this tax.
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