Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Adequately Fund Cleanups for Superfund Sites!
Endorsing Organizations: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Friends of the Earth
FY 2020 Cosigners (23): Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee,
Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Suozzi, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, Rep. Hastings, Rep.
Nadler, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. Welch, Rep. Kathleen M. Rice, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Espaillat, Rep. A. Donald McEachin, Chairman DeFazio, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Lipinski, Rep. Sean Casten,
Rep. Chris Collins, Rep. McGovern, Rep. DeSaulnier,
Please join us in urging the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee to increase funding of the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account to at least $1.46 billion in the FY 2020 budget.
A Superfund site is any land in the United States that has been contaminated by hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because of its risk to human health and the environment. These sites are placed on the National Priorities
List (NPL) – the list of sites in the United States and its territories that have known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.
In the event that a clean-up project is required by the EPA, tenants and businesses located on or adjacent to a Superfund site are often required to move. In addition, individuals who do not move are directly exposed to toxic pollutants that can potentially
cause lifelong health complications, even death. It is the primary responsibility of the federal government to protect its citizens from threats both foreign and domestic, leaving individuals exposed to toxic pollutants to fend for themselves is abhorrent
to this ideal and must be addressed in the FY 2020 budget.
The enacted FY 2019 budget for the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account decreased to $1.09 billion. This is well below the $1.309 billion that was requested and enacted by President Obama in FY 2010. Since 2010, the Superfund Account has steadily decreased,
seeing its lowest funding in FY 2017 at $1.09 billion. Over the same seven-year period, the number of Superfund sites has grown from 1,282 in FY 2010 to 1,342 in 2017.
Given the rise in the number of Superfund sites and the threats to public health that hazardous waste poses, the Superfund Account should be adequately funded at a minimum of $1.46 billion in order to stay consistent with the rate of inflation since FY 2010.
This increase is a necessary and prudent investment in order to keep current spending levels consistent with inflation in order to preserve the public health of the United States of America.
If you would like to sign your boss onto this letter, please contact Jacob Hochberg on my staff at Jacob.Hochberg@mail.house.gov. Thank you for your consideration.
Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of Congress
March 8, 2019
The Honorable Betty McCollum The Honorable Ken Calvert
Chairman Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment,
and Related Agencies and Related Agencies
2256 Rayburn House Office Building 2007 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman McCollum & Ranking Member Calvert,
As your Subcommittee considers the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY19) Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we respectfully request you to include $1.46 billion in funding for the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates Superfund sites as 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 has over 1,300 sites in the U.S. with known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The long-term health challenges, business disruption and displacement costs are harmful to residents affected by
hazardous contamination. Revitalizing contaminated land improves the quality of life for communities around the United States and is part of EPA’s core mission.
In FY2010, the agency invested more than $1.3 billion to develop and implement prevention programs, improve response capabilities, and maximize the effectiveness of response and cleanup actions under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act RCRA, Superfund,
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST) and other authorities. This work must continue by funding the program at $1.46 billion in order to keep up with inflation and fund the increase in Superfund sites.
We look forward to working with you both to ensure adequate funding for the Superfund Account and successfully revitalize contaminated areas of our country.
Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of Congress
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