Make Polluters, Not Taxpayers, Pay for Clean Up of Toxic Superfund Sites

We at CHEJ urge you to contact your representative to support the Polluter Pays Fees as introduced by Congressman Blumenauer’s Bill Superfund Reinvestment Act (H.R. 4088).

Superfund’s resources have dwindled to the lowest level in the history of the program under the Trump Administration. Today, thousands of innocent families are paying to cleanup industry’s toxic mess through their children’s health and their federal taxes. Americans’ tax dollars should support schools, infrastructure, health care and housing not cleaning up corporate pollution.

The Superfund Reinvestment Act holds industries accountable for cleaning up the harmful results of their irresponsible practices.

If passed, the bill would:

  • Restore the Hazardous Substance Superfund financing rate.
  • Increase the rate from 9.7 cents to 16.3 cents per barrel of crude oil, with the rate being adjusted for inflation after 2019.
  • Restore and increase tax rates on taxable chemicals, with rates being adjusted for inflation after 2019.
  • Change the legal definition of “crude oil” to include “any bitumen or bituminous mixture, any oil derived from a bituminous mixture (including oil derived from tar sands), and any oil derived from kerogen-bearing sources (including oil derived from oil shale)”.
  • Restore the Corporate Environment Income Tax to 0.12 percent of revenue in excess of $3,735,000.

Important aspects of the bill:

  • Does include a “sunset clause” - 2029.
  • Exports are not excluded from the terms laid out in the bill.
  • Not only reinstates oil and chemical taxes, but also raises the rates and includes a provision for inflation adjustments.
  • The list of taxable toxic chemicals has been updated.
  • Allows for direct access of funds from oil and chemical taxes rather than relying on Congress to appropriate funding from general revenue.
  • Includes a corporate environmental income tax for companies that have an income above $3.753 million. For every $10,000 in income over $3.753 million, the tax will cost companies $12.00, the price of a cheese pizza at Pizza Hut.

Taxpayers should not be financing the cleanup of a mess they did not create. This bill corrects an injustice and places the responsibility on polluters to restore Superfund sites back to safe, healthy areas that can attract investment and economic development.

According to 2017 data from EPA, nearly 53 million Americans, many of whom are children or elderly, live within 3 miles of a Superfund site. These people continue to depend on the federal Superfund program to ensure the health and safety and of their families. Superfund sites are the worst, most highly toxic contaminated sites in the country.

Please support the Polluter Pays Bill today by sending a letter to your representative.  Thank you for your your support on this issue.