Financial assurance rules are overdue. For more than 30 years, the EPA has been required to develop rules pertaining to industries that handle hazardous substances. Too often, companies file for bankruptcy and avoid financial responsibility for cleaning up harmful pollution. When that happens, taxpayers foot the bill.
Industry lobby groups don’t want the EPA to concentrate on legacy contamination, despite the fact that it tends to persist within the environment. Legacy contaminants tend to build up within an organism (such as a human) exposed either directly to the contamination or indirectly through the food web. These contaminants also tend to be toxic even at low concentrations. It is clearly misguided for the EPA not to consider the impact of legacy contamination. The EPA also needs to consider waste oil recycling sites, refineries and coke production facilities.
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