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Civil engineers give D Grade for US hazardous waste cleanup

Annual funding for U.S. Superfund site cleanups is estimated to be as much as $500 million short of what is needed, and 1,280 sites remain on the National Priorities List with an unknown number of potential sites yet to be identified, says a 2013 infrastructure report card from America’s civil engineers.

More than 400,000 U.S. brownfields sites await cleanup and redevelopment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in four Americans lives within three miles of a hazardous waste site. The American Society of Civil Engineers, which prepared the report, has given U.S. hazardous waste a D grade, the same grade the nation received during the last infrastructure report card in 2009.

The American Society of Civil Engineers says funding is critical if hazardous waste cleanup is to improve. Examples include re-authorization of the federal Superfund taxes on chemicals, petroleum, and corporations or create another federal funding mechanism, as well as creating economic incentive programs that consider environmental costs and encourage hazardous waste reduction for future hazardous waste situations.

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HazMat Management