Category Archives: Middlesex County

Rush Holt; Polluters Should Pay Once Again

Posted from Congressman Holt’s newletter

Last week, I toured two toxic cleanup sites in Middlesex County that are being restored to health by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program which requires polluters to pay for the cleanup of sites they have contaminated.

A few years ago, these sites were toxic dumps, unsafe for anyone to live or work. One had hosted incinerators for photographic film and circuit boards; the other had been home to a chemical plant used in the production of oil field chemicals and anti-corrosive agents. In both areas, toxic chemicals had leached into the soil and groundwater. Without intervention, the sites would have been unsafe for human habitation for decades, even centuries.

Now they are on track to be fully restored for public use. That is a testament to the potential of the Superfund, and it is evidence of the remarkable work of the Environmental Protection Agency – an agency that is so often the target of political attacks precisely because it is so effective in standing up against polluters.

The Superfund law originally required highly polluting industries to also pay for the cleanup of “orphan sites” where no specific polluter could be identified. More recently, however, Republicans in Congress have blocked efforts to require polluters to pay into the Superfund “orphan” cleanup fund.

Partly as a result, the Superfund is dramatically underfunded, delaying efforts to clean up hundreds of toxic waste sites across New Jersey and the country. Even worse, taxpayers – rather than polluters – are now being forced to take on the burden of cleaning up these “orphan” toxic industrial sites. This is simply a wrongheaded and wasteful way to use our very limited tax dollars.

Sincerely,

Rush Holt
Member of Congress

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Filed under chemical waste, Congressman Rush Holt, EPA, Middlesex County, New Jersey, polluters, superfund toxic waste sites, toxic waste

Pallone Announces FEMA Briefings for State and Local Governments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2011

Long Branch, N.J. – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. Tuesday announced a schedule of public assistance applicant briefings to be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The briefings will inform prospective applicants such as state and local governments of available assistance and eligibility requirements for obtaining Federal assistance as a result of damage from Hurricane Irene.

“I encourage local officials to take advantage of these briefings which will benefit towns in my district,” said Pallone. “FEMA will provide information that is critical receiving federal assistance.”

In the days since Hurricane Irene caused significant damage, FEMA has released $38 million in federal disaster assistance.

As of September 11, 2011 statewide, 31,400 individuals have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance, nearly $36 million in disaster assistance for housing needs has been allocated and more than $2 million in Other Needs Assistance (i.e. personal property, transportation, medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial expenses) has been allocated.

In addition to the Disaster Recovery Centers that are currently serving sixth district residents in Somerset, Union, Middlesex and Monmouth counties, FEMA will continue to open more of these centers.

There are three ways to register – go to http://www.disasterassistance.gov, to m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; multilingual operators are available.

Federal assistance became available after the president issued a major disaster declaration on Aug. 31. Assistance is provided for eligible damage from the Hurricane Irene and related flooding, Aug. 27 through Sept. 5, 2011.

Pallone’s staff will also be present at the following briefings to assist constituents.

Wednesday, September 14

1:00 p.m.
Middlesex County
Middlesex Fire Academy
101 Fire Academy Drive
Sayreville, NJ 08872
732-316-7104

1:00 p.m.
Union
Rahway Public Library
2 City Hall Plaza
Rahway, NJ 07065

Thursday, September 15

9:00 a.m.
Monmouth County
Monmouth County Fire Academy
1027 Highway 33 East
Freehold, NJ 07728

1:00 p.m.
Somerset County
402 Roycefield Rd.
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
908-725-5070

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Filed under Congressman Frank Pallone, disaster assistance, disaster recovery centers, FEMA, Hurricane Irene, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Somerset County, Union County