EPA asks Congress to reinstate chemical waste Superfund tax

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 22 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency has asked Congress to reinstate the chemical waste Superfund tax, which expired at the end of 1995. Cleanups of abandoned hazardous waste sites since then have been financed by general federal revenue, effectively burdening taxpayers with the cost, the agency said in a June 21 letter.

”Since the beginning of this administration we have made it clear that we support the reinstatement of the ‘polluter pays’ system for the Superfund program,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA's Solid Waste and Emergency Response Office. “Our taxes should be paying for teachers, police officers, and infrastructure that is essential for sustainable growth—not footing the bill for polluters.”

Stanislaus said the Obama administration is proposing reimposition of the taxes as they were last in effect on crude oil, imported petroleum products, hazardous chemicals, and imported substances that use hazardous chemicals as a feedstock, and on corporate modified alternative minimum taxable income. The excise taxes and corporate environmental taxes would be reinstated for 10 years beginning in January 2011, he said.

American Chemistry Council Pres. Cal Dooley immediately disputed EPA’s reasoning, saying that reimposing the tax would be a mistake. “America’s chemical makers and others targeted by the Superfund tax have paid for site remediation several times over: We paid for sites for which we were responsible, we helped pay for ‘orphan’ sites where we were not the responsible party, and we paid taxes such as the corporate environmental income tax,” he said. “It would be inappropriate and unfair to impose Superfund taxes on companies with no responsibility for site contamination.”

“All elected officials who say they want to create jobs and strengthen America’s manufacturing sector should be against this job-killing tax and stop trying to use the domestic refining and petrochemical industry as an [automated teller machine] to provide cash-on-demand,” said National Petrochemical & Refiners Association Pres. Charles T. Drevna. “This tax amounts to economic sanctions against the US petrochemical and refining industry, because it will punish these American manufacturers and give foreign competitors an unfair advantage.”

But US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who has introduced a bill to reimpose the tax, said it would be “a win for the environment, a win for local communities, and a win for the economy.” He said federal funding for the cleanup has slowed to a trickle and the more than 1,600 remaining Superfund sites across the country are not getting cleaned up.

“By renewing the tax, the industries that had a hand in creating the problem—not taxpayers—will once again be held accountable for cleaning it up,” Blumenauer said, adding, “More importantly, we can put tens of thousands of people to work by investing in the restoration of these polluted sites.”

Stainslaus was scheduled to testify June 22 before the Senate Environment and Public Committee’s Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health Subcommittee about the Superfund program. Other scheduled witnesses included John Stephenson, natural resources and environment director at the Government Accountability Office; Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice; J. Winston Porter, president of the Waste Policy Center; John Stumbo, mayor of Fort Valley, Ga.; and Helene Pierson, executive director of Heart of Camden (NJ). 

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

02/06/2015 China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Nation...

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

02/06/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential ...

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

02/05/2015 Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. D...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

Goodlatte reintroduces bills to repeal, reform RFS

02/05/2015 Calling it “a true ‘kitchen table’ issue,” US Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) reintroduced a pair of bills to address problems in the federal Renewable ...

Alberta’s premier seeks more North American energy integration

02/05/2015 Better policy integration and cooperation will be needed for Canada, Mexico, and the US to fully realize the North American energy renaissance’s po...

Oil, gas infrastructure investments essential, House panel told

02/04/2015 Investments in oil and gas transportation and storage should move ahead because they are essential in continuing the US economic recovery and North...

EPA suggests DOS reconsider Keystone XL climate impact conclusions

02/03/2015 The US Department of State might want to reconsider its conclusions regarding potential climate impacts from the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pip...

Obama’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget recycles oil tax increases

02/02/2015 US President Barack Obama has proposed his federal budget for fiscal 2016 that he said was designed to help a beleaguered middle class take advanta...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected