EPA PROPOSES TO ADDCOMMERCE STREET PLUME IN WILLISTONTO NATIONAL SUPERFUND LISTJEFFORDS CITES LACK OF FUNDINGWASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt, has announced thatthe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to add the CommerceStreet Plume in Williston to its National Priority List of Superfundsites. If finalized, the designation would make the site eligible forfederal funding for clean-up and make it Vermont’s 11th federallyrecognized Superfund site.The property is located in an industrial park and is contaminated withbyproducts from manufacturing and electro-plating operations emitted from1960 to 1984. Volatile organic compounds have been detected in nearbydrinking water wells above health based standards and have migrated tostreams and wetlands that are habitat for two state designated threatenedspecies.”I’m glad that the federal government recognizes the importance ofcleaning up this site, but unless the Bush Administration changes itspolicies, there will not be federal funding to begin work on this projectfor some time. With one in four Americans living within four miles of atoxic waste site, we must give the Superfund program the resources itneeds,” said Jeffords, the ranking member of the Senate Environment andPublic Works Committee.Internal EPA documents released earlier this month reveal a record backlogof clean-up projects estimated at $750 million. Just last week, EPA’sInspector General reported that total spending on Superfund between 1999and 2002 declined 11 percent when adjusted for inflation, from $1.71billion to $1.52 billion. More than 1,200 toxic waste sites on theSuperfund National Priority List still await clean-up.Jeffords continued, “I will continue to push the Bush Administration tofully fund the Superfund program so that the Commerce Street Plume andother sites across the nation get cleaned up without delay.”Superfund trust fund has been running short on funds since 1995, when thePolluter Pays tax on corporations expired. The current BushAdministration, unlike every other administration since President Reagan,has not pushed to have it reinstated.Jeffords is a co-sponsor of legislation, S. 173, to re-instate theSuperfund fees on polluters.