Today the Superfund program is being run about as well as it can be, but its performance still is unsatisfactory:
The pace of cleanup at contaminated sites is too slow. Too much money is going into the pockets of lawyers and consultants and not enough into actual cleanup work on-site.
Billions of dollars are being spent on "cleanups" that produce only tiny benefits in risk reduction in comparison with other available environmental investment opportunities.
For all these reasons, our national Superfund policy threatens to become a major debacle, one that could discredit environmental protection programs in the United States for years to come. The problem is not that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to do its job properly. After an admittedly rocky start, by and large EPA is now faithfully executing congressional mandates. After years of disruption, the Superfund program is finally working the way Congress intended-and therein lies the problem.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Elliott, E. Donald, "Superfund: EPA Success, National Debacle?" (1992). Faculty Scholarship Series. 5106.