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Superfund Tax Is Back, and Chemical Industry Is Seeing Red

February 1, 2024 |

Pictured: Jimmy Carter signs the Superfund Act on December 11, 1980 (Source: AP/Dennis Cook) 

Representative Jim Florio 2nd from right in front row

Facing a new tax to fund a toxic waste cleanup program, the American chemical industry spent a near-record sum lobbying the federal government last year. 

Chemical companies and their primary trade group, the American Chemistry Council, which represents the industry before Congress and federal departments, spent $65.73 million on lobbying in 2023, nearly matching the $66.68 million the industry spent in 2022, according to the nonpartisan political watchdog group OpenSecrets. 

Those two years of hefty spending — the highest peak in chemical lobbying pressure since 2014, when Congress took up legislation to rewrite federal chemical law — coincide with the creation of a new tax to pay for the Superfund program. That federal effort is of particular importance to New Jersey, home to 115 sites within the program, the most of any state.

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NJ SEED: The late Jim Florio when a member of the House of Representatives was the author and prime sponsor of the first federal Superfund law. When the 1980 law expired in 1995 funding for clean-ups became sporadic. There are many hazardous sites still to be addressed throughout the nation including several in NJ.

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