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Recovery Act Funding to Accelerate Cleanup, Boost Economy, Create Jobs and Protect Human Health At New Jersey Hazardous Waste Site-Welsbach

Release Date: 04/15/2009
Contact Information: Beth Totman (212) 637-3662, totman.elizabeth@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced more than $25 million in new funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the Welsbach and General Gas Mantle site in Camden and Gloucester, New Jersey. The money will accelerate the hazardous waste clean-up already underway at the site. It will also jumpstart the local economy by creating jobs in the Camden and Gloucester areas. This Recovery Act funding is part of the $600 million that Congress appropriated to the Federal Superfund remedial program.

“EPA has an answer to these challenging economic times,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Under the Recovery Act, we're getting harmful pollutants and dangerous chemicals out of these communities and putting jobs and investment back in.”

EPA will use the more than $25 million in Recovery Act funds to clean up the radiologically contaminated soils around the former General Gas Mantle facility in Camden, a designated Brownfields Showcase Community. The EPA believes the cleanup of the General Gas Mantle property will serve as a catalyst for redevelopment of the area.

“The Superfund program lends itself perfectly to the goals of the Recovery Act,” said George Pavlou, Acting Regional Administrator. “New jobs will be created immediately because these projects are ‘shovel ready,’ and the surrounding communities benefit because the funds allow us to continue the important work of cleaning up the sites.”

The Federal Superfund program was created in 1980 to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Superfund sites are often found in industrial areas hardest hit by the recession. Superfund cleanups are major construction projects which employ thousands of workers nationwide. The Superfund program is implementing new or expanded cleanup actions at 50 sites around the country and since it began, the program has completed construction of remedies at more than 1,060 of the 1,596 sites on its National Priorities List.

By starting or speeding up cleanup at Superfund sites, Recovery Act funding is also increasing the speed with which these sites are returned to productive use. When a Superfund site is redeveloped, it can offer significant economic benefits to local communities including future job creation.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009 and has directed the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at www.Recovery.gov.

For more information on this and other sites funded through ARRA, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/eparecovery For more information about the Welsbach and General gas Mantle site, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/welsbach.

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