CHAFEE, John Hubbard, (1922 - 1999)
Senate Years of Service: 1976-1999
Senator John H. Chafee served for 22 years in the U.S. Senate, until his death in 1999. Senator Chafee authored the Superfund program, created in 1980, to direct and fund the cleanup of hazardous waste dump sites and leaking underground storage tanks. He led efforts to expand and improve Superfund. As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, he was a leading voice in crafting the Clean Air Act of 1990 which strengthened pollution emissions standards. Senator Chafee lead successful efforts to enact oil spill prevention and response legislation, and a bill to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The Senator authored the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, requiring spillers to pay for oil cleanup and to compensate injured parties. Senator Chafee also played a key role in developing many important environmental and infrastructure bills, including the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. A long-time advocate for wetlands conservation and open space preservation, Senator Chafee was the recipient of every major environmental award.