Congressman Pallone and NJ Sierra Club Celebrate EPA Anniversary, Stand Up to Trump’s Cuts

Congressman Pallone and NJ Sierra Club Celebrate EPA Anniversary, Stand Up to Trump’s Cuts

 

The New Jersey Sierra Club and Congressman Frank Pallone commemorated the 47th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency today at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site in Laurence Harbor. Congressman Pallone and the Sierra Club have been strong supporters of the EPA and initiatives such as its Superfund Program, which was established in 1980 to address the country’s most hazardous waste sites and protect public health and the environment. New Jersey has the most Superfund toxic sites in the nation. However, President Trump’s budget, would cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent, including significant reductions to research programs and enforcement of clean air and clean water programs. The event took place at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site in Laurence Harbor. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club released the following statement:

 

“We are here to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the EPA and stand to fight to protect the EPA and our environment. For 47 years, the EPA has fought to make our environment better, by making our air cleaner, water safer to drink, and cleaning up toxic sites. Instead of protecting people and communities, President Trump is attacking the environment by slashing the EPA budget and rolling back critical environmental regulations. These cuts will cut state grants in half in New Jersey, disrupt water quality testing, while eliminating programs to clean up our water supply, and deal with climate change. What this means is we won’t know if people will be swimming in sewage or protected from the next storm. As part of his attack on the EPA, he is trying to dismantle progress to reduce air pollution and climate impacts by halting the Clean Power Plan. He is even threatening our clean water by trying to repeal the Waters of the United States Rules. All of these actions hurt our environment and puts people at risk. That is why we are here at the Raritan Bay Superfund Site, which is ground zero for toxic sites to protect people and the country from Trump’s war on the environment.”

 

“The Superfund program is critical protect communities and people, especially in New Jersey because we have over 114 sites waiting to be cleaned up. With Trump cutting the Superfund program by 30 percent, the people living near a toxic site like in Lawrence Harbor will continue to suffer from more pollution impacting our health and fisheries. It will mean there is no money to test our drinking water and make sure our health isn’t being threatened. What Trump he is doing is poisoning people with more toxins in our soil, water and homes. Not funding the Superfund program will leads to clean up delays, more toxins going into ground water and neighborhoods threatening human health. The failure to have adequate funds means it takes longer to clean up sites leading to more toxics going into groundwater and neighborhoods. Sites that are waiting to be cleaned up like the Passaic River and the Ringwood Superfund site will not get the funding. With most people in New Jersey living within 10 miles of a Superfund site, this puts our communities at risk. This is all part of Trump’s rollback of environmental protections so he can take care of corporate polluters.”

 

“Trump is clearly trying to turn the EPA into ‘Every Polluters Agency. The Trump Administration wants to gut the EPA as part of their war on science by eliminating the scientists and researchers. With Trump’s budget, EPA’s research facility in Edison could be closed, who has 450 employees that help clean-up hazardous chemical spills and set standards for clean-ups to make sure they are protective of human heath. Without the scientists, inspectors and researchers, it is part of Trump’s plan to look the other way at polluters. Trump has even slashed funding for cleaning up hundreds of other toxic sites, cut funding for lead and the Office of Science, and eliminated the Office of Environmental Justice. He has gone after funding for the Chemical Safety Board as well as the Coastal Water Quality Monitoring and Sea Grant program, which would threaten the NJ Sea Grant Consortium. What the Administration is trying to do is get rid of the EPA, by eliminating its staff and the funding for science. This is because the only science he believe in is political science. Since Trump may not be able to repeal the Clean Air or Clean Water Act, he is doing so by not having anyone to enforce the law.”

 

“We are celebrating the EPA today and all of the decades of progress they have made protecting our environment. The problem is our President is trying to dismantle the EPA by going after its budget. By cutting enforcement, Trump will create a polluters holiday because there will be no one to sure to make sure they aren’t violating the law. Instead of making polluters pay and making them accountable, Trump is clearly taking the side of polluters over public health. We are joining together with Congressman Pallone to commemorate the anniversary of the EPA, but also save it against Trump’s attacks. We are here to make our planet Great Again.”

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