Saturday, August 13, 2022

Play

Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.

Play

Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Hazardous Site Costs Shift from Taxpayers Back to Polluters

Play

Wednesday, July 6, 2022   

Starting this month, chemical companies will resume being taxed for cleanup of areas with a lot of leftover toxic waste, also known as Superfund sites. It follows a slowdown in getting sites removed from the federal list.

The tax was reinstated last Friday after it was allowed to expire in the mid-1990s. The recent changes were authorized under the bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden.

For a quarter century, said Emily Rogers, Zero Out Toxics campaign advocate for the Public Interest Research Group, the program languished by leaning on taxpayers as opposed to having the industry foot the bill.

"The funds that were used to clean up Superfund sites dropped precipitously," she said, "and with that drop, also the number of sites that were cleaned each year dropped precipitously."

Annual completion of Superfund projects has fallen to single digits in recent years. Iowa has 11 sites on the National Priorities List. Supporters have said the tax will provide $14 billion over the next decade to accelerate this work. Industry groups lobbied against the move, and PIRG has estimated similar opposition amid efforts to reinstate a tax for petroleum companies.

Beyond Iowa, Rogers sai Superfund sites can be found all over the country, especially in marginalized communities. She said one in six Americans lives within three miles of these hazardous sites.

"The waste at these sites can cause some really serious human health effects," she said, "so that's one reason we've been working so hard to get funding reinstated."

Under the growing threat of climate change, PIRG noted that many of these sites are at greater risk of flooding, potentially spreading contamination into nearby communities. The program's funding is used whenever the party at fault for the pollution can't be located or lacks the money to pay for the cleanup.


get more stories like this via email
Since the 2020 election, at least 19 states have passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. (Orlowiski Designs/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…


Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Social Issues

Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…


While there are continued disparities, an annual report says Minnesota has seen progress in elevating kids out of poverty, with 12% of children falling into that category. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…

Social Issues

Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…

Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021