Excerpt from Jane Shaw’s 1996 paper:
“Superfund: The shortcut that failed”
“Even EPA Administrator Carol Browner, supervisor of the program in the Clinton administration, has criticized the program as one that “frequently moves too slowly, cleans up too little, has an unfair liability scheme and costs too much.”
– Carol Browner, EPA Administrator of Superfund 1995; Quoted in Peter B. Prestley, “Superfund in Limbo,” ABA Journal, (June 1995), at 58
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Superfund: The shortcut that failed thousands of families
The author of the paper, and the Superfund EPA administrator were correct when they recognized that Superfund sites, and CERCLA, moves too slowly, cleans up too little, and answers to no one. However, the paper goes on to point the finger at the EPA for being to tough on the polluters, forcing them to pay for the scorched and toxic environments they used as dumping grounds for decades. The article claims the EPA does this with little or no proof of the actual damages caused to these sights.
The paper is obviously outdated, and written by an “expert” who has never lived in a Superfund site, never lived in a poisoned environment they were not even aware of, never fought tooth and nail with the EPA and polluters to take financial responsibility, and has never faced the health impacts and property devaluation, and helplessness these “poor” polluters have caused.
The Superfund program has too many faults to list, most of all the lack of finances, therefore providing the EPA with the excuse to drag out the process of cleaning up sites for decades, if ever at all. The entire program is laughable, and is probably the last issue on any Presidents “to do” list. Likely most Presidents have not, or will not, ever know much more about the Superfund program than the tag line they are given.
This is what the reality looks like. This is the harsh reality of what the chronic exposure to heavy metal toxins does to a human being, a Mother, a sister, a wife, a Grandmother, a friend. The final picture on the bottom of the collage is a photo the Wall Street Journal took of my Grandmother, Kay Paparich, as she was having an episode from her Parkinson’s.
The others photos are of the beautiful, healthy, loving, kind women she was…..as she was unknowingly being poisoned by the heavy metal toxins being released at approximately 450 million tons a day for 56 years.
Did the EPA “unfairly” rush to judgment on holding this Canadian smelter financially responsible for cleaning up the 9.8 million tons of toxic discharge they released into Northport for over 6 decades? No.
The EPA unfairly ignored a small community in desperate need o
f their help. However, as a 1982 EPA internal memo stated; the Northport residents were an insignificant amount of people to be concerned with.
Kay and Louie Paparich were not insignificant, and neither are any of the other hardworking, loyal, honest people of Northport, WA.