Bring Back The Polluters Pay Tax

All people deserve to live in a safe and healthy environment, regardless of the level of their wealth or the color of their skin.

There are currently 1,388 toxic waste sites in the United States that are so dangerous they have been designated “Superfund” sites by the federal government. Over 72 million people in the U.S. live within three miles of a Superfund site. The contamination at these sites seriously endangers the health of people living nearby, causing higher rates of cancer, birth defects and developmental disabilities.

But there’s no money left to clean up the contamination. Originally, big polluting companies paid into a fund that was used to clean up their messes. But in 1995, Congress let the Polluters Pay Tax expire. By 2003, our Superfund was broke. Ever since, cleanup efforts have slowed to a crawl while all of us as taxpayers are left holding the bag.

Today, some of the biggest polluting corporations are making billions of dollars per year in profits and paying zero dollars in taxes. As climate change causes more flooding, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, increasing the risk of widespread toxic exposure from these sites, there is no time to waste. Chemical, Oil, Gas and other giant corporate polluters must pay to clean up their messes. Congress must bring back the Polluters Pay Tax.


Polluters Target People of Color, Immigrants and Poor People

People of color, immigrants, and the poor are overrepresented in communities near Superfund sites. Polluters purposefully target these communities when deciding where to place their dumping grounds.

Corporate America is profiting off of poisoning those of us who are most vulnerable. Meanwhile, our voices are silenced and our needs are ignored. Bringing back the Polluters Pay Tax is essential to holding corporations accountable for the harm they cause and bringing justice to the communities that bear the brunt of corporate pollution.

Superfund cleanups have slowed to a halt, and taxpayer dollars won’t cut it.

Why Did Our Superfund Go Broke?

After Love Canal, Congress passed the 1980 Superfund law to protect polluted communities. The law required that big polluting companies pay into a fund that would be used to clean up their messes. The Polluters Pay Tax worked. But in 1995, the tax expired and Congress decided not to renew it. By 2003, our Superfund was running on empty. In the two decades since, the number of sites cleaned up and speed of the Superfund cleanup process have plummeted. Slower cleanups leave us in danger, exposed to toxic chemicals and nuclear waste, raising children in polluted homes. Some sites have been on the Superfund National Priorities List since the beginning of the program in 1980, and still haven’t been cleaned up.

What you can do

Congress must reinstate the Polluters Pay Tax now. Chemical, Oil, Gas and other giant corporations must pay to clean up the mess they made, and continue to make.

As our economy is struggling from COVID-19 and climate change is getting worse, who will pay for the recovery and the solutions? Polluters and large corporations must foot the bill, and there is no time to waste! It is time to #MakePollutersPay !