Overview Of The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, And Liability Act

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Prior to the establishment of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Congress enacted several acts to protect the public and the environment from hazardous toxic wastes. The 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) established authority for controls over hazardous waste generation and disposal. (Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Federal Facilities, 2017) Subsequently, the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) granted the EPA authority to protect public health and the environment through controls on toxic chemicals. Shortly after the enactment of RCRA and TSCA, President Carter declared a State of Emergency at Love Canal due to the overwhelming public demand for…show more content…
This approach is refereed to as the “polluter pays principle” (Bearden, 2012). The Trust Fund was initially financed through a combination of special taxes on industry and revenues from the General Fund of the US Treasury. The authority to collect industry taxes expired at the end of 1995; to supplement the shortage, Congress increased the contributions from the General Fund. The availability of funds in the Trust Fund is subject to appropriation by Congress. Federal facility cleanups are not funded under CERCLA; funding is appropriated from other federal funds. The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) administer the cleanup of most federal facilities. The EPA and the home state oversee and enforce CERCLA standards to ensure applicable requirements are met (Bearden, 2012). Through CERCLA, the EPA established a National Priorities List (NPL) of the most contaminated sites nationwide. The list contains both federal and non-federal sites that post the greatest risk to humans and the environment. Proposed, established and deleted sites categorize the NPL; a Hazardous Ranking System (HSR) screening is conducted to determine the site’s status. The NPL is updated periodically. The NPL sites are funded either by the responsible parties, the Trust Fund or other divisions of the federal government (Barden, 2012). Specific guidelines have been established under CERCLA for proper response actions. A response action at an
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