Originally created 04/23/98

Compel firms' cleanup 042398 - The Augusta Chronicle



State Sen. Ty Courtney, R-Cowpens, has introduced a bill to make companies locating in South Carolina responsible for the toxic waste they produce.

It would require that before companies can do business -- or expand their business -- they would have to prove to state authorities that they have and will maintain the financial resources to clean up their own chemical messes.

The bill makes good sense because in the past industries have abandoned at least 200 chemically contaminated sites in the Palmetto State.

That's irresponsible and it forces communities to do the cleanup at taxpayer expense, or to just let the contamination stand. And that may create public health hazards.

Courtney's bill would put the cleanup onus where it belongs -- on the firms that make the mess. If they can't prove to the state that they're capable of cleaning up, then they shouldn't be allowed to do business there.

The proposal poses no threat to the state's ambitious industrial recruitment program. Many states have laws like Courtney is urging and responsible companies have no objections. Businesses that do object are, by definition, irresponsible and the state is better off without them.



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