Comment 43892

By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted July 22, 2010 at 22:56:57

Kiely:

The facts that bankrupt businesses can basically ditch their employees and simply abandon toxic sites both leave me pissed off and frustrated. Having to assign priority to solving one or the other is difficult. You could say that the environmental impact is the bigger priority because it will have a lasting affect on a larger portion of the population (i.e., we all suffer when our land is polluted), while the employees are a smaller group suffering a one-time injustice... although losing your pension would have a lasting effect too.

At least for the workers there's the Wage Earner Protection Program that the feds set up. Basically it guarantees a certain amount of unpaid wages owed to the employees of businesses that have entered bankruptcy or receivership. Unfortunately that amount is currently only $3250, but its better than nothing.

The government could easily set up a similar program to take money from business tax revenue, or even from a new fee for companies using toxic materials, and set it aside to cover clean up costs in the case of bankruptcy or receivership. At least that way it would spread around the costs on business (and not taxpayers) and encourage companies to use less toxic methods.

Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2010-07-22 21:57:20

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