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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3852 - Superfund Amendments of 1985

December 05, 1985


(Representatives Dingell (D) Michigan, Howard (D) N.J., and Roe (D) N.J.)

The Administration strongly supports a five year reauthorization of the Superfund program. However, the President's senior advisors will recommend disapproval of any Superfund legislation containing a broad-based tax (such as a value-added tax) or substantial increases in the existing feedstock and petroleum taxes. Further, the Administration strongly opposes enactment of H.R. 3852 unless it is amended to:

reduce the five year funding level of $10 billion to the Presidents proposal of $5.3 billion. EPA can operate an efficient, well-managed $5.3 billion program that protects human health through an aggressive emergency cleanup program and makes significant progress toward addressing the long-term hazardous waste cleanup problem;

delete the provision allowing citizens to file suit for any violation of the Act or against the Government for failure to perform any non-discretionary duty. Such litigation would be extremely costly, impose huge burdens on the courts, and result in program priorities being set by a variety of different courts;

delete the provision creating a new $0.85 billion trust fund to respond to leaks from underground petroleum storage tanks. Establishment of a massive new Fund is not warranted when no information is available yet to determine the size of the problem that exists or whether it can be adequately dealt with under the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984; and

delete the provision requiring 90% financing of operations and maintenance costs by the Fund. Funding of O&M is an inappropriate Federal role and would set a bad precedent for other Federal construction programs under which funding is a State or local responsibility.

delete the provision which imposes mandatory schedules for listing facilities on the priority list and commencing remedial actions. Such schedules are unreasonable from a management standpoint and would result in serious administrative problems;

delete the provision allowing the use of Superfund money to pay for restoration of natural resources damages. This provision will simply divert money from Superfund's primary mission, to protect human health, to low priority environmental restoration activity;

delete the provision which provides for the expansion of the citizen suit authorities to include suits against persons responsible for releases posing an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or the environment. This will interfere with EPA's ability to set priorities for cleanup, and will slow down cleanup efforts nation-wide.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3852 - Superfund Amendments of 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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