Hillary Clinton Says Superfund Us!

August 14, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

This comes courtesy of the Newtown Creek Alliance:

Senator Clinton Calls on EPA to Use Superfund Authority to Conduct Contamination Tests Along Newtown Creek

Clinton: Testing Is Necessary to Determine Whether Newtown Creek Should Be Placed on the National Priorities List

Washington, D.C. – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today urged the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its Superfund authority to conduct preliminary tests at four known hotspots along Newtown Creek, in New York City. In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, Senator Clinton raised concerns over the proximity and potentially harmful effects of hazardous substances regulated under the Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to New Yorkers living in communities along Newtown Creek.

“New Yorkers living in communities near Newtown Creek have suffered long enough,” said Senator Clinton.  “We know that there are dangerous chemicals in the soil, water and air at sites around Newtown Creek.  It’s time to put the resources of the Superfund program to work to conduct additional tests at known contamination hotspots to see whether a federal cleanup should go forward.

Senator Clinton is the Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health. In October, 2007 Senator Clinton held a hearing to examine the federal Superfund program’s capacity to protect public health and to investigate reasons for recent slowdowns in the pace at which sites are added and toxic waste sites are cleaned up under the program.

Here’s a copy of Senator Clinton’s letter to Administrator Johnson:

August 13, 2008

The Honorable Stephen L. Johnson


United States Environmental Protection Agency

Ariel Rios Building – 1101A

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20460

Dear Administrator Johnson:

I am writing to request that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), use its Superfund authority to conduct preliminary tests at four known hotspots along Newtown Creek, in New York City (Attachment A).

Newtown Creek, which borders Brooklyn and Queens, is well known as one of the most polluted industrial waterways in North America, where chemicals from factories along the bed of the Creek have seeped into the soil, sediment and water.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Office of the Attorney General have found evidence that certain hazardous substances regulated under CERCLA have been released at the Newtown Creek site (Attachment B).  It is time the federal Superfund program conduct the testing that is necessary to determine whether Newtown Creek should be on placed on the NPL list.  As the Chair of the Superfund and Environmental Health Subcommittee and a member of the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee, it is of particular interest to me.

For years, the residents in the vicinity of Newtown Creek have been forced to live, work and play with toxic fumes in the air and contaminated water, soil and sediment on the ground.  This exposure has led to community concern about potential pockets of serious illness.  Superfund was established to address abandoned hazardous waste sites.  The factories responsible for much of the chemical contamination have long since closed and as the cleanup authority of last resort, I see the federal Superfund program as the most effective way to solve this longstanding problem once and for all.  The people of Newtown Creek have suffered long enough.

I appreciate your prompt attention and response to this matter.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. However, I am very pleased to learn she has thrown her support behind getting Newtown Creek the attention and remediation it so sorely deserves. Thanks Hill!*

Miss Heather

P.S.: Quick reminder, there will be a boat tour of Newtown Creek next month. Click here for more details. Seeing —and more importantly smelling— is believing. Trust me.

*I also LOVE these striped pants. Seriously.


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