OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR WAYNE ALLARD
SUPERFUND REFORM HEARING
SEPTEMBER 4, 1997

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding today's hearing to examine the latest Superfund reform legislation. I know this has been a long process for many and I admire Mr. Smith's and your perseverance. One of these days, perhaps, you will receive some cooperation from the executive branch and we can bring this saga to a close. However, as long as this Administration refuses to play by the same rules they enforce against private entities, I have no reason to believe they are serious about Superfund reform.

Specifically, I am speaking about how they handle clean up of federal facilities. In Colorado we have several examples of lengthy enforcement delay, inaction, or different cleanup standards for federal agencies. Take for example, a Superfund site located in Leadville, Colorado. At the site the EPA is one PRP and a mining company another. There is no difference in the actions they are taking, but there is significant difference in cost of cleanup. While the private party is forced to have a water treatment facility that is clearly overdesigned, the EPA's water treatment facility is built at much lower spec's despite the fact it is performing the same function. Judging by the different standards applied, I can only guess that the EPA Gas to live forgot an important caveat when the were touting their philosophy of "polluter pays"--- "polluter pays unless it is the federal government" is clearly what they meant. Obviously, one of two things need to happen, this Administration needs to hold themselves to the same standard they hold private parties, or they should show more common sense and flexibility in ~dealing with reform legislation.

There are other examples that point out the difference in executive branch's treatment of federal entities and private entities. At the Federal Center in Colorado contamination caused by the Federal Highway Administration was migrating into a residential area. It took too long for cleanup to begin because the state had to negotiate with the federal government and the EPA simply didn't act. Had this been a private entity, no negotiation would have occurred, cleanup would have begun as soon as the problem was discovered. Judging by the Administration's Superfund reform principle that states, "The Administration does not support legislative amendments specifically for federal facilities", they have no desire to fix this problem.

In conclusion Mr. Chairman, this Administration either needs to determine they are going to live by the rules that everyone else has to live by, or they should recognize that the Superfund law they find too difficult to comply with causes the same problems for private parties. However, we should make clear that their philosophy of, "do as I say not as I do" is unacceptable. In order to achieve that end, I will be introducing legislation to ensure that at if the federal government won't hold themselves environmentally accountable, other levels of government will. Thank you Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the rest of the hearing.