The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, commonly referred to as the Superfund, was created to authorize EPA to clean up any existing hazardous waste sites. The fund has come under a lot of scrutiny especially when it was discovered that only 20% of the original amount in the fund was used in the actual clean up of hazardous waste sites.
The Patterson was used to support the “No” position because it demonstrates how ineffective and lax the superfund has become when it comes to cleaning up hazardous sites such as El Dorado Hills. The Harris article was used to support the “Yes” position because it demonstrates some of the strengths of the Superfund and the EPA. The articles demonstrate contrasting sides of the Superfund and its effectiveness in cleaning up hazardous waste sites.
Patterson (2007) argues that the Superfund program is not successful in protecting human beings from hazardous materials because the funds are not applied to the right situations owing to people’s resistance to engaging and collaborating with EPA. Areas such as El Dorado Hills have been left alone despite the fact that there are large amounts of asbestos underlying the town. Residents’ refusal to allow EPA to carry out its mandate has continued to expose the residents to asbestos. However, Harris, Vandeven, and Tilchin (2003) believe that public and government support has been the backbone of EPA’s success throughout the years since its formation.
On the other hand, Harris Vandeven, and Tilchin (2003) argue that the EPA is doing the best it can with the meager resources at its disposal. The authors argue that the Superfund has made marked improvements in the treatment technologies and risk assessment techniques. Patterson (2007) believes that the organization is incapable of carrying out its primary duties effectively even with the vast monetary and political resources at its disposal.
Harris, R.H., Vandeven, J., & Tilchin, M. (2003). Superfund matures gracefully. Issues in Science and Technology, 19 (4):
Patterson, R. (2007). Not in their back yard. Mother Jones. Retrieved on 11/4/2016 from http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2007/05/not-their-back-yard?page=2