Superfund Reform Bill Gains Support

April 5, 1999
It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

A Superfund reform bill introduced by Reps. Sherwood L. Boehlert, R-N.Y. and Calvin Dooley, D-Calif. is being supported by industry eager to simplify the process.

"This key bill addresses the issue of liability for cleanup of properties containing hazardous waste including abandoned, contaminated commercial and industrial areas known as brownfields," said Sharon A. Millett, president of the National Association of Realtors. "The redevelopment of brownfields offers excellent opportunities for the economic and environmental enrichment of our communities. However, uncertainty over liability often deters real estate transactions involving properties affected by hazardous waste. As a result, properties that could be contributing to the tax base of communities are left dilapidated, contributing to nothing but economic ruin."

Millet said the proposed legislation will clarify and amend the current law's provisions exempting innocent land owners and prospective purchasers from liability for site cleanup.

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) issued a statement saying they also supported the bill.

"Dealers can follow all the rules hire licensed waste haulers to take used oil to licensed recycling facilities and still find themselves caught in the Superfund liability quagmire," said NADA Chairman James A. Willingham. "Superfund liability is an unfair price for automobile dealers to pay for doing the environmentally responsible thing."

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