WASHINGTON -- Congress wrote the Superfund law a decade ago to make polluters finance the cleanup of hundreds of toxic waste sites, but now major companies are trying to dump large shares of the costs on cities and their taxpayers.

With only a fraction of sites cleaned up and the cost growing, many Fortune 500 companies are using provisions of the law to file third-party lawsuits against anyone who has ever hauled garbage to now-closed landfills.

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