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Senators Kennedy and Kerry, Reps. Olver and Neal Announce $750,000 for Connecticut River Cleanup

Location: Washington, DC


WASHINGTON - Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry and Congressmen John W. Olver (D-1st District) and Richard E. Neal (D-2nd District) announced today that the omnibus appropriations bill approved by Congress includes $750,000 for critical sewage control projects along the Connecticut River in Holyoke, Springfield, South Hadley, Chicopee and Ludlow.

"The Pioneer Valley Commission is doing a great job pulling the region together to meet this critical challenge," Senator Kennedy said. "I'm grateful our colleagues recognized the importance of this work and helped us make real progress on the Connecticut River cleanup. We're going to keep at it."

"We simply cannot allow a lack of funding to be the cause of ongoing damage to the Connecticut River, and the EPA cannot require local communities to clean up this problem without giving them the tools to do it," said Senator Kerry. "It's important for our environment and for our local communities to clean up the Connecticut River, and this money is the first step toward ensuring that happens."

Congressman Olver said, "The Environmental Protection Agency unfunded mandate to correct combined sewer overflows is an environmentally sound endeavor, but unfortunately, there is not sufficient funding in the State Revolving Loan Fund or on the federal level to even come close to meeting the needs of these communities. I will continue to work hard to help establish a federal grant program to cover these costs."

"From the Canadian border to the Atlantic Ocean, the Connecticut River is the crown jewel of our region. We have a responsibility to keep it clean for future generations. This federal assistance, to help address the problem of combined sewer overflows, will help preserve and protect New England's largest river," said Congressman Neal.

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