United States
                         Environmental Protection
Off tee of
Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
Publication 9200.5-008G
November 1990
r/EPA           Who  Pays  for  Superfund?
                         Superfund is the Federal program for protecting the public and the environment from uncontrolled
                         releases of hazardous substances. More than 1,200 sites are listed on the National Priorities List (NPL)
                         and slated for cleanup under Superfund. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is
                         adding more sites to the NPL every year.

                         The Superfund Trust Fund provides tax money to pay the Federal share of site cleanups, but whenever
                         possible EPA forces those responsible for contaminating a site to clean it up.

                         Sharing Cleanup Costs

                         Businesses often create Superfund sites by improperly disposing of hazardous wastes. Private indi-
                         viduals and Federal agencies also have created such sites. Entities suspected of having contaminated a
                         site are called potentially responsible parties (PRPs).

                         Whenever possible, EPA compels responsible parties to clean up a site they created or contributed to.
                         (If EPA cannot identify the responsible parties or compel them to respond, the Agency will pay for site
                         cleanup out of the Trust Fund.)

                         The Superfund law requires States to contribute at least 10 percent of EPA's costs of cleaning up NPL
                         sites within their borders.

                        Federal agencies pay for cleanups of Federal hazardous wastes, such as military bases or weapons
                        plants, out of their own budgets. They do not use Trust Fund monies.

                        Superfund Trust Fund

                        The Superfund Trust Fund was authorized in 1980 at $1.6 billion. The Superfund amendments in 1986
                        authorized the Trust Fund at $8.6 billion. In November 1990, a third authorization added $5.1 billion.

                        Superfund expects to spend an additional $19 billion to clean up sites now on the NPL, according to
                        the FY 1989 Annual Report to Congress.

                        The Superfund trust fund receives money from three major sources annually:

                              $553 million from petroleum excise taxes;

                              $273 million from chemical feedstock excise taxes; and

                              $504 million from environmental income taxes.
                        Numerous smaller sources  primarily cost recovery, penalties, income taxes, and interest income 
                        add another $440 million annually.

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, ResponSible Party Contributions
Potentially responsible parties are performing and financing almost 60 percent of the new construction
projects that began in FY '90.' .
, 'Responsible parties pay for site cleanups with funds from profits, asset liquidation, borrowing, and
To date, PRPs are obligated in 1,336 settlements to pay over $3.7 billion in cleanup costs.

, To date, PRPs have agreed to repay government cleanup costs of almost $475 million. EPA has
. recently been awarded its first treble damages case, valued at over $2 million.
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Other Federal Agency Contributions

As of September 30, 1989, Federal agencies estimated they woOid spend $4 billion on Superfund-
related cleanups from FY 1987 through FY 1991.
The Departrnents of Defense and Energy will spend an estimated $2.7 billion and $1 billion respec-
tively.; , '
The Federal Government owns some of the largest Superfund sites, but it owns the smallest percentage
of sites, compared to private industry and other owners of Superfund sites. ' '
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