NORCROSS SEEKS MORE FEDERAL FUNDS FOR CONTAMINATED SITES IN SOUTH JERSEY
(CNBNewsnet)--Washington, DC-Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-1) Tuesday continued his fight to fund programs that clean up toxic sites across South Jersey and protect the health of constituents from potential health hazards.
Rep. Norcross introduced an amendment to add an additional $22 million to the Superfund Program (House Resolution 2822, the FY 2016 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill). Although the amendment did not move forward, the Congressman remains vigilant about cleaning up contaminated sites.
“The Garden State today is well-known for its tomatoes, corn and blueberries. But we also historically were a hub for heavy industry. New Jersey found out the hard way what you can and can’t dump into the ground, rivers, lakes and backyards, and now we’re working to clean it up.”
Congressman Norcross said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified at least 15 contaminated sites in his district.
Among them, the Welsbach and General Gas Mantle site in Gloucester City, Camden County. Some of the waste materials from this site include the radioactive elements thorium and radium, exposure to which can lead to cancer. Work to clean up this site began in 1996 and continues to this day.
And waste materials at the Sherwin-Williams Creek Superfund site spanning parts of Gibbsboro and Voorhees in Camden County include lead and arsenic. Arsenic poses life-threatening health hazards, including cancer, and lead exposure can have serious, long-term health consequences in both adults and children. Even at low levels, lead in children can cause I.Q. deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity and other behavioral health problems. Lead exposure can also cause health problems in pregnant women and harm fetuses.
“It is our responsibility to protect our citizens. There are no companies to go back to. The damage is already done. And we must continue to protect our citizens.”
Last month Rep. Norcross announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a $14 million cleanup plan to remediate contaminated soil from approximately 33 residential properties at the Sherwin-Williams/Hilliards Creek Superfund site. Congressman Norcross also toured sites in Camden City that will receive $944,000+ in federal grants to clean up and redevelop the contaminated properties.
While these are hopeful developments, there’s still work to be done across New Jersey and in the Congressman’s District.
The Congressman remains undeterred in his fight to clean up these sites and advocate for more funding to ensure a safer, healthier South Jersey.
“It’s right for the environment, it’s right for the economy, and most importantly, it’s right for the health of the people of New Jersey,” said Rep. Norcross.