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| 1 minute read

Superfun? Not really!

The bipartisan infrastructure bill (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Public Law 117-58, 135 Stat. 429 (November 15, 2021), contained a provision that didn't get much media or political coverage but will kick-start funding of the Hazardous Substance Response Trust Fund to be used for the identification and response to federal cleanup sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability and Compensation Act (CERCLA). That provision (section 80201) restarts the collection of excise taxes imposed on certain chemicals to fund the so-called Superfund Trust Fund established by CERCLA. The tax is imposed on chemical manufacturers and importers and will be reinstated effective July 1, 2022. Congress has not reauthorized the tax since it expired at the end of 1995.

The IRS issued Notice 2021-66 identifying 152 chemicals subject to the tax, with the comment period closing at the end of January. Further guidance is expected to update the process of petitioning to modify the list of taxable chemicals.

The funding should help invigorate the CERCLA process where EPA directs cleanups at sites where there has been a release of CERCLA hazardous substances. With EPA's CERCLA-listing rule for PFAS compounds currently under review at OMB, things are about to get interesting in Superfund world...

"Section 221 of CERCLA established the “Hazardous Substance Response Trust Fund,” which was funded, in part, by the section 4661(a) tax on sales of taxable chemicals (enacted by section 211 of CERCLA) and the section 4671(a) tax on sales or uses of imported taxable substances that use one or more taxable chemicals in their manufacture or production... The Superfund chemical taxes as previously in effect expired on December 31, 1995."


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