News: Press Releases

(WASHIHNGTON) - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2279, an anti-environmental measure that reduces funding available to clean up some of America’s most polluted places. The bill relaxes restrictions on corporate polluters at high risk for creating toxic waste sites, also known as “Superfund” sites, by weakening the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to enforce financial responsibility requirements. Those requirements ensured that likely polluters would have to take out insurance or post a bond to cover the costs of cleaning up their waste. The bill also reduced the level of government funding required of states under federal clean up laws. Following passage of this law, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

“I am disappointed that the majority brought this divisive bill to the floor when Americans are primarily worried about job creation. It seems nonsensical for a party who professes to care about the taxpayer to replace the current system in which polluters are told, ‘You break it, you buy it!’ with a ‘You break it, the American people buy it.’ The only thing more confusing than adopting such a system would be to combine such action with an overall lowering of government funding—which is the second thing that the bill does. So now not only are the polluters not paying for the harm they cause, neither is the government. That means that local communities, whose health is threatened by toxic waste, must now rely increasingly on themselves.

“I find it disheartening that so many of my colleagues would support this special-interest legislation as one of the first acts of the new session, when we could be focused on protecting American communities and creating an economy that fosters cleaner, more efficient technology. It is a very bad day for anyone who cannot afford to undo the millions in damage left behind by careless corporate polluters who got their way today.”