WEST DEPTFORD, NJ (CBS) – President Trump’s executive order to ease EPA restrictions and his proposal to slash the agency’s budget could impact New Jersey more severely than most states.
New Jersey is home to 114 EPA Superfund sites which contain hazardous materials.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Stormy Evening Brings In Seasonal Temperatures For Early Next Week
Some cleanup projects may remain incomplete or never begin if Trump’s proposal to cut about a third of the EPA’s funding materializes in the fiscal year 2018 budget.
“We depend on the EPA, we look for their support cause we don’t have the financial wherewithal,” says New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D).
Sweeney’s town – West Deptford – is home to the Matteo Superfund Site which scattered toxic debris from a car battery recycling operation throughout a residential neighborhood.READ MORE: Inaugural Penn Relays 5K Underway At Penn Park
Three homes have been cleaned up but the EPA’s onsite coordinator David Rosoff says as many as 8-9 more properties will need remediation at the cost of at least $10 million.
The work could resume in September depending on the FY 2018 budget.
“I hope they clean it up, my neighbors there, they deserve it,” says Wayne Hoffman who lives next to the most severely polluted home on Birchly Court in West Deptford.
Bob Wendelgass, President of Clean Water Action, says Trump���s EPA cutbacks in both regulation and funding will be damaging to the planet and our health.MORE NEWS: Flyers Fans Return To Packed Wells Fargo Center For First Time In More Than 500 Days
“Cleaning up those sites is critical to protecting the health of those who live around them. Or folks who get their drinking water from underneath them,” says Wendelgass.