I am of the opinion that if you break it, you buy it. The company that is responsible, premeditated or accidental, for contamination of water supply or wildlife should, and usually does, pay for damages. This reasoning is also shown in environmental law. According to the EPA, “By law, the parties responsible for the use, transportation, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances and oil are liable for costs.” In the event that a company cannot pay for damages, or the responsible party cannot be found, the EPA has two federal funds to help pay for the damages. The two funds are the Superfund (CERCLA) that President Carter signed into law, and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which gets most of its funding from the excise tax placed on oil companies per-barrel.
Companies who benefit from the protection and restoration of lands should pay a tax to these funds, if they do not already. These companies should not be held responsible with fronting the costs of restoration to lands when the damages were done by another company, but in the event that they could profit from lands being cleaned up by either of the two EPA funds, the company should give something back to that fund. Companies should be held responsible for the damages they cause, and be held responsible for maintaining the funds used to respond to such events.
“Laws and Executive Orders.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 08 Sept. 2016. Web. 04 July 2017. <https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders>.
“The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF).” The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF). National Pollution Funds Center, 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 04 July 2017. <https://www.uscg.mil/npfc/about_npfc/osltf.asp>.