A week after Freedom Industries spilled chemical into the Elk River and tainted the water supply for more than 300,000 West Virginians, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, has introduced a pair of bills to make those responsible pay.
Rockefeller’s bills would not only make those responsible for a chemical spill pay for its cleanup, they’d provide more funding for states and agencies tasked with cleanup.
Rockefeller co-sponsored the bills with Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who is responding to a 233,000-gallon molasses spill that occurred in Honolulu last year.
The legislation would force companies that spill materials that are dangerous but not deemed hazardous to pay for cleanup costs under the 1980 Superfund act. Currently polluters cannot be held liable under Superfund for cleanup costs if the materials released are not deemed hazardous.
The bills also double the Superfund cap on clean-ups associated with harmful spills from $2 million to $4 million.