"At least three companies linked by the Environmental Protection Agency to hazardous waste sites are being paid by the government to clean up their own sites, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity."
Quotes on Superfund (CERCLA)
"Superfund is different because it has released EPA and Superfund managers from the restraints that hold back most government programs. The EPA can spend potentially unlimited sums of money on cleaning up sites, with little responsibility to back its decision with evidence of serious harm or risk. The EPA must follow procedures such as notifying potentially responsible parties of its actions and accepting public comment. But there is no impartial review of EPA decisions. Courts can only decide if officials are following these procedures and consider whether they have been arbitrary or capricious. In addition, three special taxes raise money earmarked for Superfund. Superfund is not restrained by the checks and balances that normally characterize government."
"At least three companies linked by the Environmental Protection Agency to hazardous waste sites are being paid by the government to clean up their own sites, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. While the EPA did not make all of its procurement records available, the Center found that the agency awarded contracts to Lockheed Martin Corp., Halliburton Company and a subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd. to work on four Superfund sites where at least one company was involved as a 'potentially responsible party,' according to EPA documents. ...
A cost plus contract reimburses a contractor for expenses incurred while carrying out the contract plus a guaranteed set profit. Cost plus contracts can create an incentive for contractors to spend liberally since their profit will also increase. During the period of the study, the EPA gave out more than 60 percent of its contract dollars in cost plus contracts, the analysis made by the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting found."
"Under Superfund, joint and several liability means that companies can be held accountable and responsible for the cleanup of an entire waste site, even if their contribution was only a fraction of the total. Furthermore, actions that were legal at the time they took place are now viewed as criminal."
"In sum, Superfund is not an effective way to reduce health risks. It reduced the traditional protections that people and companies can expect from legal due process, and it hasn't clearly helped anybody, except lawyers, consultants, and the EPA. Much the same has been shown to be true of many other regulatory programs. ...
Is there another way? Yes. The traditional way of dealing with pollutants is by protecting rights. This approach is based on the recognition that people have a right not to be invaded by others, and this includes invasion by excessive pollutants emitted by others. This approach to controlling pollution was not perfect, but now that we see the ills of regulatory programs, it looks better than it did in the 1970s."