Opening Statement of Senator Wayne Allard
on S. 8
March 5, 1997

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I look forward to today's hearing which I hope will shed some light on the urgency of cleaning up highly toxic sites around the nation. In order to quickly and effectively clean up these sites, we need to modernize Superfund so it can work effectively. That's why I am pleased to be a cosponsor of S. 8, the Superfund Cleanup Acceleration Act of 1997.

While there may be some concerns with certain aspects of this legislation, I believe that if all interested parties make a good faith effort we can move this legislation expeditiously through Congress. Yesterday's hearing was a good lead-in for today. We heard excellent testimony from state and local officials who have done as much as they can within their authority. We now need to build upon the progress they have made in the states and provide them with the responsibility and power to clean up the contaminated sites that many of them drive by every day.

If we don't empower state environmental officials to act, we would be ignoring the successes we heard yesterday. I believe inaction in this case is probably the worst course we could take. Mr. Chairman, thank you for leadership on this issue and I look forward to today's hearing.