Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Unit Okays Superfund Reform

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

House Unit Okays Superfund Reform

Article excerpt

By a largely partisan vote of 15 to 11 , the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Hazardous Materials Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, Chrmn.) completed action on H.R. 2500, the Reform of Superfund Act of 1995 and ordered the measure reported to full committee. Rep. Blanche Lambert Lincoln, D-Ark. was the sole Democrat to join the Republicans in support of the bill.

Attempts by the minority to delete or substantially revise provisions they found objectionable--including amendments proposed by Reps, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) to delete provisions allowing for reopeners of Records of Decision RODS); by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) to limit the retroactive liability discount (RLD); by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) to eliminate the RLD; by Pallone to limit liability relief solely to municipalities; and by Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to enhance the brownfields provisions--were all defeated.

Also defeated by the Sub-committee, by a vote of 10 "yes" to 14 "no," was an amendment proposed by Markey and Rep. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), but unanimously supported by the Democrats present and voting(*), which would have deleted provisions in the bill requiring as a factor in the selection of appropriate remedies at Superfund sites to include "the acceptability of the remedy to the affected community, as represented by the elected officials of the affected local government." With great hilarity, the sponsors of the amendment explained its necessity because of the hidden agendas of local elected officials, their lack of responsiveness to the citizens in their communities, or their willingness to cave to the demands of industry, or as Rep. …

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