Nearly half of the nation’s toxic waste sites are connected to some 100 companies that spent more than a billion dollars lobbying Congress and the federal government from 1998 through 2005, according to a year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington-based organization. Corporations responsible for hundreds of the most toxic sites in the United States spent nearly as much money lobbying politicians and funding political campaigns as they did repaying the government for cleaning up their messes, according to a new analysis by the watchdog group. As a result, the companies may dodge hundreds of millions in cleanup fees. Companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Raytheon, a defense contracting giant, are among the roughly 100 businesses responsible for the vast majority of privately controlled polluted or contaminated “Superfund” sites located throughout the United States, according to the new report by the CPI.
The investigation was based on a confidential EPA document listing the top 100 companies potentially responsible for Superfund sites. At least 61 companies on the EPA’s list were among the Fortune 1,000 and Fortune Global 500 last year, with revenue of more than $2.8 trillion and profits of nearly $190 billion during 2006. CPI found that these 61 companies are linked to a total of 582 Superfund sites.
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