Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., the ranking member of theSenate Environment and Public Works Committee today expressed his concern for the Bush Administration’s lack of commitment to adequately fund the Superfund program. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its fiscal year 2003 Superfund allocation. Of the 10 toxic sites on the National Priorities List that did not receive any funding for fiscal year 2003, five also did not receive funding in FY 02. These include some of the nation’s most toxic waste sites: Atlas Tack (MA), Continental Steel (IN), Jennison-Wright (IL), Jasper Creosoting (TX), and Hart Creosoting (TX). An independent report to Congress prepared by Resources for the Future indicates that the program shortfall exceeds $400 million. Jeffords said “Rather than spending its scarce Superfund resources to maximize protection of public health, the Bush Administration reportedly has begun prioritizing funding based in part on a site’s economic redevelopment potential. All sites need to be cleaned up, not just those that would make a good strip mall.” The Superfund Trust Fund, which once contained $3.8 billion, is now essentially exhausted. As a result, the general public is paying 79% of the costs of the program, or $1.1 billion, to cleanup the toxic mess created by chemical and petroleum companies. And the pace of cleanups has plummeted from an average of 87 sites completed annually during the Clinton years to only 6 completed to date. Jeffords continued, “I am troubled that President Bush is not giving EPA the resources it needs to fulfill its mission. I call on the Administration to reverse its opposition to reinstating the Superfund fees and to increase Superfund’s budget so that all Americans can enjoy the benefits of clean soil and water. With one in four Americans living within a mile of a toxic waste dump, the program needs to be fully funded.”