Edison Wetlands Association’s Director Testified in Front of US Senate
Robert Spiegel, Executive Director of the Edison Wetlands Association, a grass roots advocacy group, provided expert testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Environment and Public Works on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 in Washington D.C. Spiegel’s inclusion came via selective invitation from Chairman Cory Booker and Ranking Member James Inhofe of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the United States Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.
The Senate hearing, “Protecting Taxpayers and Ensuring Accountability: Faster Superfund Cleanups for Healthier Communities,” focused on examining potential ways to speed up the cleanup of existing Superfund Sites, the negative impact of cleanup delays on communities, and evaluating possible options for future funding.
Spiegel testified on the lack of Superfund Trust funding and the adverse impact to human health and the environment from the slow down in cleanup work at the following sites: the Cornell-Dubilier Superfund Site in South Plainfield, Ringwood Mines Superfund Site in Ringwood, Pompton Lakes DuPont Public Works Site, Horseshoe Road Superfund Site in Sayreville, and Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site in Old Bridge, NJ.
“The USEPA depleted Trust fund has led to lack of funding, manpower and resources in New Jersey and across the country. Poisoned American towns and cities have an emergency situation with body counts piling up and no funding for all the Superfund cleanup work desperately needed,” Spiegel said in the testimony he submitted to the Senate Committee.
On the panel Spiegel was joined by four other expert witnesses: Joseph Delany, mayor of Garfield NJ; Scott Thompson, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality; Susan Bodine, a lawyer who focuses on environmental public policy issues; and environmental activist Lois Gibbs, who, in 1978, lead the organization that brought attention to the toxic conditions of the Love Canal. In addition to giving their testimonies on the Superfund Trust, the experts held a panel in which they answered questions on the matter.
“When they’re not cleaned up, contaminated properties are blights on our American neighborhoods,” Booker has said. “But when these sites are cleaned up, the opportunities flow for job creation, new tax revenues and, most importantly, for healthier communities.”