Superfund Tax Revival Renewing ‘Polluter Pays’ Debate

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One of the bipartisan infrastructure deal’s pay-fors is reviving longstanding questions over who should pay to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated land.
The White House released a framework on Thursday for its $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal. Included within the pay-fors of that plan is a line item to “reinstate Superfund fees for chemicals,” a potential restoration of excise taxes that expired in the mid-nineties.
Lawmakers in favor of bringing back the “polluters pay” tax model, including Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), applauded the provision. But industry representatives said that with few details to go on, questions remain on whether the revenue scheme should apply more broadly so that companies aren’t financially responsible for sites that they otherwise wouldn’t be liable for under the Superfund law.
Photo Credit: Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg News

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