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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks at the New Bedford, Massachusetts Superfund Announcement, As Prepared

04/15/2009
As prepared for delivery.

I’m proud to announce that EPA, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be investing 25 to 35 million dollars in the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site.

This investment will save and create jobs by putting people to work in the dredging and cleaning programs.

It will provide the potential for millions of dollars in economic activity for New Bedford through greater shoreline access and improved navigability.

And it will accelerate the ongoing efforts to remove harmful PCBs and heavy metals from the water and sediment.

We’re responding to decades-worth of pollution poured into these waterways. The support in the Recovery Act will spur significant progress in the cleanup, and get the community closer to the day when the water is safe for fishing and swimming again.

This investment also sends a very clear and very important message: EPA has an answer to these challenging economic times.

We have an answer for more than 100,000 people in this area – the individuals and families living within miles of contaminated waters.

Today we’re helping to boost your local economy, and removing dangerous toxins from your communities.

We have an answer for the fishing industry here, and the workers who rely on the Harbor for their livelihood.

At one of the busiest fishing ports in the country, more than 18,000 acres of water have been closed to lobstering and fishing because they are too polluted.

Today we’re advancing the long-term effort to restore those industries and ensure that they can thrive.

And we have an answer for developers, tourists, and others who see the many economic, environmental, and health benefits of clean water in the harbor.

We have moved beyond the false choice between a green economy and a green environment. In fact, our environmental future and our economic future are inextricably linked.

The economic recovery plan that the President put forward focuses our resources on building a clean energy economy, creating millions of new green jobs, and putting Americans to work on projects protecting the air, water and land in our communities.

Today’s announcement is a one of $600 million in stimulus awards for Superfund cleanups across the country.

And that is part of more than $7 billion the Recovery Act directs to reducing diesel emissions, Superfund and Brownfields cleanups, rebuilding water infrastructure, and repairing leaking underground storage tanks.

We're getting harmful pollutants and dangerous chemicals out of these communities and putting jobs and investment back in. That’s crucial to human health, environmental health, and economic health.

I want to thank everyone who helped make this possible. We still have a long way to go.

I hope this is the first of many shared efforts to build our green economy, create new jobs, and safeguard human health and the environment in every community.