The Infrastructure, Investments, and Jobs Act (IIJA) has allocated $3.5 billion to clean up Superfund sites across the country, and $1.4 million of that will go toward cleanup of toxic materials at the Penta Wood Products site in Burnett County, Wisconsin. The project will prevent further environmental damage to the area.

Persistent toxicity is a pernicious problem, as industries are intended to be accountable for cleanup of their sites but often abandon the worksite after production is no longer profitable, leaving governments responsible for cleanup costs. The owners of the Penta Wood Products site abandoned the Burnett County site, and cleanup ran from 1992 to 2000, but tests in 2017 found persistent high levels of the carcinogenic pentachlorophenol, or PCP, continuing to contaminate the area.

Funding to continue cleanup was missing until the passage of the Biden infrastructure law.

The American Independent reports:  “The $1.9 trillion infrastructure law passed in Congress with all Democrats in both the House and the Senate voting in favor of it and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, 2021. A majority of Republicans in Congress voted against the law, including all of the Republicans representing Wisconsin in the House. Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson voted against the bill.”

A backlog of unfunded sites can now be addressed, spanning 24 states and all EPA regions.

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