The House of Representatives has passed a Republican-backed bill that would give states a greater role in cleaning up hazardous waste sites. The measure (H.R. 2279) would require EPA to consult with state authorities regarding cleanup activities at contaminated sites under the federal Superfund law. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) says the measure would reduce “unnecessary red tape” and speed up the often slow cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Democrats and environmental groups strongly oppose the legislation. They argue that it would increase the potential for lawsuits between states and the federal government over cleanups. “This is bad policy and poorly crafted legislation,” said Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.). The bill passed on a 225-188 vote.