Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur Dioxide in the United States

Sulfur Dioxide (S02) in Environmental Law

A chemical compound made of

sulfur and oxygen. A common air pollutant, sulfur dioxide is an irritant and a major cause of acid rain. Power plants emit the largest amount of sulfur dioxide, which results largely from combustion of fossil fuels, particularly lower grades of coal. Sulfur dioxide is one of the criteria pollutants, so it is included in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and regulated under the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 established a new program specifically geared to reduce sulfur dioxide and ease the problem of acid rain.

Superfund The fund established by Congress in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to enable the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites. The initial amount in the fund was $1.6 billion, and that was increased to $8.5 billion in the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. Money to support the Superfund is obtained through taxes on receipt of hazardous waste at treatment/storage/disposal facilities [see treatment/storage/disposal facility], chemical feedstocks, and refined or crude oil.

Superfund is also a nickname for the statute itself (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act). Sites listed as national priorities for cleanup are often called Superfund sites, because the EPA uses the Superfund to support most of the work done at those sites.

The use of the Superfund has shifted somewhat since it was first established. To preserve the money for cleanups at sites where no one can finance the cleanup, the EPA emphasizes enforcement and payment for work by the potentially responsible parties if they exist. The Superfund is used to address emergency removals and orphan sites. Persons who sent waste to, owned or operated a Superfund site, or arranged for disposal at a Superfund site are identified as early in the cleanup process as possible and are often assigned tasks. In situations where the Superfund must be used, the EPA tries to get the money back by bringing lawsuits. Although Superfund may be used for mixed funding (the fund pays for part of the Superfund site work), the EPA prefers to avoid that option.
Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.



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