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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 7, 1997
         On Actions to Protect Port Jobs and Shore Communities

I applaud today's actions by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Martin Lancaster to protect against toxic ocean dumping and protect jobs at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

With today's actions, shore communities and fishermen can look forward to a day when toxic material no longer will be dumped at the Mud Dump Site. Longshoremen can have greater faith that their jobs will be secure. Port companies can invest in the Port and the region's economy for the long-term.

The Corps of Engineers is issuing additional permits for dredging in the Port, to make use of the Mud Dump's remaining capacity before September 1. These permits are the latest in a series of permits that have started dredging moving again in the Port, so that the region's shipping and the region's economy are protected. The EPA is releasing its proposal for closure of the offshore Mud Dump Site by September 1, and releasing its proposal for the long-term remediation of serious contamination in the offshore areas known as the Historic Area Remediation Site.

I would like to thank Senator Torricelli, Congressman Menendez, and Congressman Pallone, who made this announcement today with Administrator Browner and Assistant Secretary Lancaster. I also would like to thank Governor Whitman and Governor Pataki for their close work with us in this process, and for their continuing work to identify alternative disposal sites for dredge material that is too contaminated for the ocean.

The steps we announce today are directed to the immediate needs of the Port and the environment. Much work remains, and we look forward to continued close work with the states to ensure that the region's economy and its environment are fully protected.