Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 5 (9 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
General News

US House passed bill ravaging toxic-waste regulation law -- on same day as W. Virginia chemical spill

By       Message RT TV     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 1/13/14

- Advertisement -

Original published at RT


- Advertisement -

As West Virginians were learning Thursday of a devastating chemical spill in the Elk River that has rendered water undrinkable for 300,000 people, the US House of Representatives was busy gutting federal hazardous-waste cleanup law.

The House passed the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act that would ultimately eliminate requirements for the Environmental Protection Agency to review and update hazardous-waste disposal regulations in a timely manner, and make it more difficult for the government to compel companies that deal with toxic substances to carry proper insurance for cleanups, pushing the cost on to taxpayers.

In addition, the bill would result in slower response time in the case of a disaster, requiring increased consultation with states before the federal government calls for cleanup of Superfund sites -- where hazardous waste could affect people and the environment.

The bill amends both the Solid Waste Disposal Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act -- often referred to as Superfund, which was created in 1980 to hold polluter industries accountable for funding the cleanup of hazardous-waste sites.

- Advertisement -

There are over 1,300 priority Superfund sites in the US.

The legislation was passed by a vote of 225 to 188, mostly along party lines, with all but four Republicans supporting the bill and all but five Democrats opposing it. One of those Democrats crossing party lines to support the changes to environmental law was Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), touted the "common-sense" changes as needed economic relief.

"We are five years into this failed experiment of increased government spending, taxation, and regulation,"  Gardner said in a statement. "The results are clear: The power to grow our economy and put Americans back to work lies in the private sector. With more than 80,000 pages of new federal regulations published in 2013 alone, common-sense revisions of existing rules and regulations are a vital part of ensuring businesses that power our state and local economies are given the capability to grow."

Critics point out that the bill severely weakens environmental protections. Earthjustice and 128 public interest groups said the legislation would "threaten human health and the environment while protecting polluters from liability for the costs of toxic cleanups."

The legislation also "substantially increases the potential for harm in communities across the United States. As one in four Americans live within three miles of a hazardous-waste site, safe management and prompt cleanup of toxic waste sites are essential to our nation's health and economy," the group added.

The bill is a "New Year's gift to corporate interests," said Scott Slesinger, legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement, adding that taxpayers will be the ones to assume cleanup costs.

- Advertisement -

Opponents will probably find salvation in the US Senate, which is unlikely to pass the bill. In addition, the White House has promised to veto the legislation.

"The bill's requirements could result in significant site cleanup delays, endangering public health and the environment," White House policy advisers wrote in a statement.

In West Virginia, federal authorities opened an investigation into what caused the leak that poisoned the river and shut down much of the state's capital, Charleston and surrounding counties. US Attorney Booth Goodwin said authorities will take whatever action is appropriate based on the evidence found, reports the Associated Press.

In response to the crisis, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Water and Waste Management ordered Freedom Industries to cease operations Friday afternoon. The state also ordered the company to remove chemicals from the facility where the leak contaminated the area's water supply, the AP reported.

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

http://rt.com
rt.com is Russian television, which actually does a great job reporting on US news too.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Senators terrified with abuse of Patriot Act's secret laws

"US foreign policy is a marketing strategy for selling weapons" -- Jill Stein

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican Bank supervisory board

Google involved with Clinton campaign, controls information flow -- Assange

DOJ wants Bush, senior cabinet members exempt from Iraq War trial

"World moving away from American financial hegemony"