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TOPIC: Superfund Designation for Newtown Creek

Groups Appeal to EPA Administrator Jackson to Add Contaminated Newtown Creek to Federal Superfund List. New Report Reveals Federal Superfund Program Weaknesses.

WHAT: Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY); the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ); Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA); and Riverkeeper will hold a news conference to release a national report by CHEJ. Superfund: In the Eye of the Storm details how the federal cleanup program is burdened by climate change-related hurricanes, tornadoes and floods that damage toxic sites, as well as by increased corporate bankruptcies. Along with the report the groups will call on EPA Administrator Jackson to add Newtown Creek to the Federal Superfund National Priorities List.

WHEN: Friday, March 20, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Newtown Creek, at the GMDC, 1155 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn

Newtown Creek has been severely contaminated by metals, volatile organic compounds, high pathogen levels, floatables and petroleum pollution. Because of the proximity of the creek to hundreds of thousands of workers and residents, these chemicals pose a direct threat to human health. Groups argue that polluters such as Exxon Mobil should pay for the cleanup of toxic sites, not taxpayers.

Across the country, this national report will be delivered to federal policymakers with an appeal to support reinstatement of polluter pays fees. The fees are supported by President Obama in his proposed budget and in legislation recently introduced in Congress. American taxpayers now pay over $1.2 billion annually to fund Superfund while corporations balk at reinstating the fees that expired over a decade ago.

For an embargoed copy of the report, please contact Moira Bulloch, CHEJ at 703-237-2249 X19 or mbulloch@chej.org
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