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Holt Hosts 'DC Day' For New Jersey Environmental Leaders

Location: Washington, DC

Event Coincides With Release of Latest Climate Change Report
Showing Arctic Melting Has Increased

Washington, D.C. -- Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today hosted environmental leaders from across New Jersey for a dialogue with key Congressional, executive branch, and nonprofit leaders about the challenges facing America in its efforts to protect the environment in which Americans live.

"I'm delighted that so many of New Jersey's environmental leaders and professionals have joined us today," said Holt. "As the latest NASA report on climate change indicates, human activity is having a harmful impact on our entire planet. The need for joint action by government, industry, and the environmental community to address this threat is more urgent than ever."

Holt was referring to a NASA report released yesterday stating that over the past two winters, warmer temperatures and retreating Arctic sea ice offered fresh evidence that "greenhouse" gases were altering climate in the region and globally.

Attendees heard presentations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, The Wilderness Society, The Sierra Club, Beyond Pesticides, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Holt has been a leading proponent of measures to reduce human causes of climate change, preserve open space, protect national parks, invest in alternative sources of energy, and reduce the exposure of children to environmental hazards.

During the 109th Congress, Holt introduced the School Building Enhancement Act (H.R. 4350), which is designed to help schools develop plans to improve their energy efficiency. Holt has also sought to protect children from pesticide exposures. His "School Environment Protection Act" (H.R. 110) would provide resources to schools to create a National School Integrated Pest Management Advisory System to notify parents when and where pesticides will be used, and to prohibit the use of pesticides when a school or school ground is occupied or in use. In July 2005, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that pesticide exposure at schools is the principal cause of diagnosed acute illnesses among children. The researchers recommended the implementation of integrated pest management programs in schools, practices to reduce pesticide drift, and adoption of pesticide spray buffer zones around schools to prevent pesticide-related illnesses among staff and students, as would be required by Holt's legislation.

"By increasing energy efficiency and developing renewable energy resources, and requiring protections of our water, air, and land, we can prevent, or in some cases reverse, damage to the environment, improve our global security, and create new jobs and economic opportunity," said Holt. "Success in this area requires cooperation among federal, state, and local organizations and individuals. Today's meeting should promote that cooperation."


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