Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research and Policy Center

A Perfect Storm

Today, one in five Americans lives within just three miles of a Superfund toxic waste site. Contaminants of concern at these sites include arsenic, lead, mercury, benzene, dioxin, and other hazardous chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer, reproductive problems, birth defects, and other serious illnesses. Cleanup can take a decade or more, and decreased funding over the last 20 years has led to slower cleanups. To make matters worse, climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of storms such as hurricanes that threaten to impact toxic waste sites, which could spread the chemicals at these sites into surrounding communities. During the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, 810 Superfund toxic waste sites were in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm.

Report | Enivronment Iowa Research & Policy Center

Electric Buildings

Report | Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center

Superfund Underfunded

One in six Americans lives within 3 miles of a proposed or approved Superfund toxic waste site. Yet the program to clean up these sites has experienced a declining budget, and success, putting people at risk from hazardous contamination.

Report | Environment America

Moving Forward Together

The 2020 election suggested that Americans are more divided than at any time in recent history. But in reality, there are a surprising number of public policies on which Republicans, Democrats and independents share common ground. By daring to venture out across political “no man’s land” and forge compromise on areas of public concern, lawmakers can get important work done for the American people even as they begin to create a pathway out of the nation’s dangerous and counterproductive polarization. 

Report | Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center

A Path to Cleaner Water

America’s waterways are a national asset. They are the places we swim on hot summer days, kayak with friends and family, spend a relaxing day fishing, and so much more. Yet billions of gallons of stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continue to pollute our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. As a result, all too often our beaches are unsafe for swimming, communities are flooded with sewage, and toxic algal outbreaks threaten wildlife and public health. Absent strong action from our leaders, these pollution problems will worsen in coming years, as overdevelopment and more intense storms put greater burdens on our fraying water infrastructure systems. 

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