The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

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The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 has proved to be one of the most important environmental protection programs of all time. Also known as Superfund, this act spawned dramatic changes to the environment of the United States. Superfund aimed to cleanup hazardous waste sites in America and protect the health and safety of the general public. Over the years, the Superfund legislation has authorized the government to aid in the cleanup of toxic waste in a variety of effective ways that have ensured the welfare of its citizens. On the whole, CERCLA has transformed hazardous waste sites, changed the outdated disposal methods that companies utilized, and ignited environmental awareness.…show more content…
Hooker Chemical drained the canal and lined it with canal to prevent the soon to be deposited barrels of chemicals from leaking. During the period Hooker Chemical used the dump over 21,000 tons of chemical waste. Later on, the company sold the land to the Niagara Falls School Board for $1.00. Immediately afterwards, a series of winters which brought heavy rainfall lead to the leeching of chemicals into creeks, basements, backyards, and the school playground. Consequently, President Jimmy Carter realizing the graveness of the situation, called for a state of emergency, leading to the evacuation of 239 families.2 After the Love Canal Disaster, politicians and the general public alike were inspired to push through laws that would hold the polluters accountable for cleanup of hazardous waste sites and thus, CERCLA was born. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, better known as Superfund, was established as a reaction to the environmental crises nationwide such as The Love Canal Disaster and the Valley of Drums in Kentucky. The act states that its purpose is “to provide for liability, compensation, cleanup, and emergency response for hazardous substances released into the environment and the cleanup of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites”3. At its core, Superfund proposed to: cleanup hazardous waste sites, hold the companies that produced the waste responsible for the funding of the cleanup, and
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