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1 1AC: Superfund Tax Josiah McPeak and Patrick Shipsey

The great counter-culture sage and comedian George Carlin once said, “Oh beautiful for smoggy
skies, insecticided grain, For strip-mined mountains majesty above the asphalt plain! America,
America, man sheds his waste on thee, And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea!”

Because we agree with George Carlin, because we believe that mankind should no longer shed his
waste on America, my partner and I stand RESOLVED: That the United States Federal
Government should significantly reform its environmental policy.

For clarity in this round, we present the following DEFINITIONS.

1,) Superfund: Superfund is the common name for the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), a United States federal law designed to clean up
abandoned hazardous waste sites. [P.L. 96-510, 42 U.S.C. § 9601–9675] So in short, the

Now, let's examine the state of the current system in the INHERENCY.

1.) Tax expired, law crippled. That's tax expired, law crippled. This is according to Kate
Probst, Senior Fellow for Resources for the Future, August 2009.
Kate Probst [Senior Fellow for Resources for the Future, whose research topics include Environmental Regulation, Policy Instruments,
Waste Management and Site Cleanup. Over the last 25 years, she has conducted numerous analyses of environmental programs, focusing
mainly on improving the implementation of Superfund and other hazardous waste management programs. She was the lead author of the
study, Superfund's Future: What Will it Cost?, requested by C ongress, on the estimated cost of the Superfund program to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from FY 2000 through FY 2009. Her 2004 study Success for Superfund, includes
recommendations for specific information EPA should make readily available to the public on all Superfund sites, in a site "report
card.."], “Reinstating the Superfund Taxes: Good or Bad Policy?”, published by Resources For the Future, August 24, 2009

“When authority for the Superfund taxes expired at the end of 1995, annual appropriations for the
program did not decrease immediately, because of a large unobligated balance in the trust fund.
Appropriations continued at approximately $1.5 billion through FY 1999. Annual appropriations
declined to $1.2 billion in FY 2003, where they have pretty much stayed ever since.

But by the late 1990s, it was clear that EPA was experiencing a shortfall in funds needed for cleanup.
Work by Resources for the Future in 2001 estimated a “best case” funding shortfall of just over $2
billion over the 10 years from FY 2000 through FY 2009. In the years since then, EPA’s Office of the
Inspector General and senior EPA officials have documented funding shortfalls that have prevented
remediation from moving forward at a host of specific sites. The number of sites each year where
cleanup activities are completed—which reached a high of about 80 sites per year in the late 1990s—
fell to 47 in FY 2001 and to an all-time low (not counting the first few years of the program) of 24 in
FY 2007.

While fewer sites are being added to the NPL each year—in FY 2008, only 18 new sites were added—
the funding shortfall is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. “

Judge, let me explain a little bit: In the past, the Superfund's trust fund was funded through a tax
on polluting industries, but Congress let that tax expire in 1995. Ever since, the Superfund has
been underfunded and ineffective. We aim to fix this with the PLAN- re-instituting the tax.
2 1AC: Superfund Tax Josiah McPeak and Patrick Shipsey

Plan Text-

Agency: Congress and the President.

1.) Re-instate the tax. The tax which formerly supplied funding to the Superfund's trust fund shall
be reinstated and utilized.

No funding is necessary, as this is purely an administrative change.

The plan takes place immediately upon an affirmative ballot.

Now let's look at the reasons to adopt our plan in the JUSTIFICATIONS.
3 1AC: Superfund Tax Josiah McPeak and Patrick Shipsey

Justification one is more cleanups. As Carol Browner, Administrator of the EPA, wrote in 2002,
the Superfund Tax gives the EPA crucial leverage to make Superfund work
Carol Browner [Lawyer, environmentalist, businesswoman and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.
longest-serving Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration. She then became a founding
member of the Albright Group and Albright Capital Management during the 2000s. She also served on a number of boards of directors
and committees dealing with environmental issues. She received her B.A.. from the University of Florida, and her J.D. From the
University of Florida College of Law.], “Polluters Should Have to Pay”, Published in the New York Times, March 2002

“In 1980, after Love Canal entered the public's consciousness, Congress made an important
commitment to Americans who found themselves living on toxic dump sites, exposed to deadly
carcinogens and chemicals that threatened their health and lives. As a nation we said we would clean
up toxic sites -- and the polluters, not the American people, would pay.
For more than 20 years, the ''polluter pays'' principle has been a cornerstone of environmental policy.
Not only has the principle made possible the cleanup of hundreds of the worst toxic waste dumps
across the country, it also caused private industry to better manage its pollution and waste.
Remarkably, that principle is now under attack. The Bush administration has announced that it will not
seek reauthorization of the taxes levied on oil and chemical companies that go into the Superfund trust
fund that is used to pay for cleanup of toxic waste sites.
The original Superfund law established three ways to pay the costs of cleanups: those responsible for
creating the site could clean up the site; the Environmental Protection Agency could perform the
cleanup with money from the trust fund and recoup the costs from the responsible party later; for those
sites where no responsible party could be found, the cleanup would be paid for out of the trust fund.
The very existence of the fund, in addition to financing cleanups, has given the E.P.A. crucial leverage
in getting reluctant parties to move forward with cleanups on their own. A healthy trust fund enables
the E.P.A. to say to polluters: clean up your site or we will use trust fund money to do it. And it will
cost you more if we do it -- you will have to pay for the cleanup plus additional penalties.”
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Justification two is the preemption effect. As Richard Revesz, Dean of the NYU School of Law,
wrote in 2009, the Superfund Tax would create incentives to avoid polluting in the first place,
thus preventing pollution before it even happens, and without the Superfund Tax, the EPA can't
do its job.

Richard Revesz [Dean of the New York University School of Law. Graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and continued
his studies at Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-cheif of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Thurgood Marshall. He joined the NYU faculty in 1985, teaching environmental and administrative law.],“Should the U.S. Resurrect
Superfund?”, published by National Journal Expert Blogs: Energy & Environment,, March 2, 2009

Often, the Superfund is associated with the big toxic cleanups one reads about in the news. But just as
important are the toxic disasters that never happen because of the threat of Superfund liability. By
bringing the Superfund back from the dead, President Obama will reinvigorate incentives for proper
waste disposal taxes that have essentially lapsed while the Superfund stalled.

Underlying the Superfund program is the “polluter pays principle.” According to this principle, it is the
responsibility of the polluter, not the public, to pay for the cleanup of improperly handled toxic waste.
This principle is embodied in the Superfund law (the Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act) through a system of strict, joint and several liability. This system of
liability creates very clear lines of responsibility: The companies that handle, transport, and dispose of
toxic substances are all on the hook. The resulting strong incentives to avoid being associated with a
Superfund site mean that they all act as the “Superfund police” to make sure that waste is properly dealt

The money in Superfund gives EPA the bargaining leverage to enforce those incentives—if firms refuse
to clean up a site, then EPA can use the Superfund to pay for the cleanup, and then sue parties to recoup
the cost. Without that money, EPA is a paper tiger. It’s power to swoop in, clean up the site, and go after
the responsible parties is significantly curtailed.
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Justification Three is environmental justice. The worst part of the Superfund being crippled lies
in which sites are neglected when the EPA must choose. When delays hit the Superfund, they
come in communities of color. This is according to Marina Cartwright, Managing Attorney for
the Thurgood Marshall School of Law's Environmental Law and Justice Center, in Summer

Martina E. Cartwright [Martina E. Cartwright is a Clinical Instructor, in addition to serving as the Managing Attorney for the Thurgood
Marshall School of Law's Environmental Law and Justice Center. The Environmental Law and Justice Center is a public interest,
university-based environmental institution. Ms. Cartwright received her Juris Doctor degree from the American University, Washington
College of Law where she pursued a concentration in International and Environmental Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in
History from the University of Baltimore, Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts.], “CERCLA at 25: A Retrospective, Introspective, and
Prospective Look at the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act on Its 25th Anniversary: ARTICLE:
Superfund: It's No Longer Super and It Isn't Much of a Fund”, published in the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, Summer 2005 [18
Tul. Envtl. L.J. 299] [Lexis]

The conventional wisdom has been that pollution and its adverse effects are distributed equally among
all members of society. n177So, too, it was assumed that the implementation of environmental law and
policy has benefited everyone, regardless of ascriptive criteria such as socioeconomic status and
race. n178 However, that premise has been [*320] challenged in recent years by a nascent movement
that is combining civil rights activists and environmentalists. N179

Bolstered by a number of studies demonstrating a correlation between race and the siting of unwanted
land uses or the lax enforcement of environmental laws near and around communities of color, n180 an
emerging issue - environmental inequity - has come to the fore in environmental policy. n181 For
instance, a 1987 study on race and toxic waste conducted by the United Church of Christ found that
three out of every five African-American and Latino residents lived in communities with uncontrolled
toxic waste sites. n182 Additionally, a 1992 study published in the National Law Journal found that
minority and poor communities have waited nearly 20% longer than nonminority communities to have
abandoned toxic waste sites placed on the NPL. n183 Further, but no less shocking, it took the EPA an
average of 10.4 years to commence cleanups in minority areas, compared to 9.9 years for nonminority
communities. N184

During the Clinton Administration, environmental justice precepts were integrated into the overarching policies of the EPA - beginning
with the issuance of Executive Order 12,898. Executive Order 12,898 requires each federal agency to "make achieving environmental
justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, the disproportionately high and adverse human health or
environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United
States." n185 Additionally, the Office of Environmental Equity (now the Office of Environmental [*321] Justice) was created within the
EPA to monitor environmental justice concerns and to address environmental justice issues. N186

However, despite the political advances of environmental justice and equity advocates, the fact remains
that communities that bear the greatest burden in hosting abandoned waste sites are more likely to be
impacted by slowed cleanups and scaling back of funding requests. There have been no follow-up
studies to the National Law Journal's initial assessment of EPA enforcement of various environmental
laws, CERCLA in particular. Nonetheless, the potential still remains that the most vulnerable of society,
particularly poor and disenfranchised communities, will be at greater risk than more affluent
communities, who have the resources to obtain faster response times and superior remedies.
6 1AC: Superfund Tax Josiah McPeak and Patrick Shipsey

Judge, this is nothing short of senseless. There is not and never will be any reason why poor black
children must pay for the sins of oil executives. Congressman Earl Blumenaur sums up the
reasons why it is imperative that the Superfund Tax should be reinstated quite nicely in 2008.
Earl Blumenaur [Congressman representing Oregon's 3rd District], “Rebuilding and Renewing America”, 2008

Reinstating the Superfund tax

The Superfund was designed in 1980 to provide money to cleanup sites where the responsible party
was out of business or could not be identified. Before it expired in 1995, the money for the Superfund
came through taxes on the polluters themselves. However, Congress has never reauthorized the tax,
making the burden of funding cleanups of toxic waste sites fall on the shoulders of taxpaying
Americans. It is time to make public health, not protection for polluters, a priority. With the
reinstatement of the Superfund tax, the stable funds generated would ensure that cleanup efforts at large
sites can be properly maintained, and the EPA would have more power to recover costs from liable
parties in cleanups.
Why should the Superfund tax be reinstated?
• Companies should clean up their own waste.
• It is unfair to pass the burden onto taxpayers, who bear no responsibility.
• Without reauthorization, millions of Americans will be needlessly exposed to toxic waste while
industries escape $1 billion in pollution taxes.
• Polluters should pay for any efforts that are needed to address the problems they create.
It’s time to put the burden back where it belongs: on polluters.

I leave you with a thought from Jacquelene Close Moore.

“We were given a pristine earth to live on with all upon it and in it that we need to sustain ourselves.
What we do with that gift
is either a symbol of our thanks to the provider,
Or what our children will be left to answer for.
How short the memory of mankind?”

Thank you.
7 1AC: Superfund Tax Josiah McPeak and Patrick Shipsey