Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Endorsing Organizations: NRDC,
League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Gowanus Canal Superfund Community Advisory Group (CAG), Gowanus Alliance, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Manhattan Community Board 3, Brooklyn Community Board 6, Waterfront Alliance, New York Sun Works, Inc., NYC H20,
Original Co-sponsors (9): Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Visclosky,
Rep. Barragán, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, Rep. Albio Sires
Long-term health difficulties, business disruption and displacement costs are all hurting residents and U.S. small businesses affected by hazardous contamination. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates as
Superfund sites any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste, and is a risk to human health and the environment. These sites are placed on the
National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is the list of over 1,100 sites in the U.S. with known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.
Of those, there are 86 in New York State alone.
In the event that a clean-up project is required, businesses are forced to leave. Whether the move is temporary or permanent, displaced business owners face several undue hardships, and often have to foot the unexpected bills on their own. Federal aid related
to moving a small business may fall short of full reimbursement and fails to account for intangible expenses to the business, such as loss of a loyal, local customer base.
Restoration of Superfund sites are covered under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, which forces polluters
to clean up toxic sites they had created. Additionally, the federal government financed cleanups of orphaned sites with a tax on the chemical and oil industries-
this tax expired in 1995 due to pressure from the chemical and oil lobbies.
My legislation, the Superfund Enhancement Act of 2018, would reinstate the aforementioned tax and creates a loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program specifically for relocation from a Superfund site, or other environmentally
unsafe sights. It also creates a tax deduction for those forced to relocate their business.
My bill will provide additional coverage for business owners who are displaced through no fault of their own. These hardworking individuals should not be made to suffer the consequences of mistakes made by those who occupied their property long before them.
It is our moral obligation to ensure an equitable relocation solution for those forced to move.
For these reasons, please join me and support legislation that provides relief for tenants and small business owners who have been displaced. If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Jacob Hochberg
on my staff at Jacob.Hochberg@mail.house.gov.
Thank you for your consideration.
Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of Congress
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