Monday, July 24, 2017

Middletown Firefighters Hold Shave a Hero // Save a Hero Event



The Shave a Hero// Save a Hero event is a family oriented, heartfelt afternoon aiming to raise as many funds as possible so that we at Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer can help fulfill desperately needed research grants specific to children's cancers. This event will be held RAIN or SHINE!

WHEN: Saturday July 29, 2017

TIME: Noon - 4:00pm

WHERE: Community Firehouse Station #4,
75 Appleton Avenue
Leonardo, NJ

This beautiful, fun-filled afternoon will consist of food, activities, raffles, prizes, face-painting, balloon animals, lots of laughter and OF COURSE head shaving!

While the main attraction will be our BIG heroes (local firefighters, police officers and first-aid responders), being shaved by our LITTLE heroes (both childhood cancer fighters and survivors), shaving is open to anyone willing to go for the bald is beautiful look...in our eyes ANYONE willing to shave their head or help us in any other capacity is a true hero!

Remember, whether you plan on shaving or not...ALL ARE WELCOME at our event so spread the word and we CAN'T WAIT to see you!!


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I first heard of this event while driving home from work yesterday morning while listening to Shellie Sonstein on Q104.3, and knew that I just had to let others know about it. If you would like to learn more about the fundraiser and organization, checkout the website Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer.  If you can't attend the fundraiser and/or wish to support the cause, you can do so ... HERE   Thanks MM

Above, 6-year-old Mia McCaffrey shaves 1st Asst. Chief (Middletown Twp. Fire Dept) Ryan Clarke's head during the filming of "Fighter" (August 2016). This past March 17th Mia passed away from the cancer that she was fighting (parameningeal rhabdomyosarcoma). Shave a Hero//Save a Hero was inspired by Mia's brave fight and all will be raised in her beautiful name to fight the very cancer that took her life.






Sunday, July 23, 2017

New York Giants' 2017 Training Camp Open Practice Schedule

The NY Giants head to training camp this week. If you'd like to attend one of their open practices this year, below is the schedule and further information to know before you go.  I've taken my son and father to Giants camp several times in the past. It's a great way to spend a few hours watching and talking about our favorite football team and the upcoming season.





EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Giants announced the schedule for their 2017 training camp, which will be presented by Toyota. The camp will feature 11 practice sessions open to the public at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, which is located on the MetLife Sports Complex. The first practice session will take place on Friday, July 28 at 11:40 a.m.

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR FANS VISITING TRAINING CAMP:

Admission: There is no admission charge for watching training camp workouts. All practices will be held at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center

Fan Guidelines: Practice sessions will be open to the public throughout training camp (July 28-Aug. 14). Limited seating is provided alongside the practice fields. Restroom facilities, concession stands and a free kids' activity area will be available.

Fan Parking: Parking is free and is located in Lot K on the grounds of the MetLife Sports Complex. The lot will open to the public one hour before the scheduled start time of practice and the gates will open 30 minutes before practice begins. The parking lot will close one hour following the conclusion of practice. All fans attending practice will be subject to security screening before entering the seating area.

Autographs: Select Giants legends will sign autographs during practice each day for all fans. A listing of those Giants legends and the dates they will sign will be released on Giants.com.

Each day after practice, a rotating group of current Giants players will sign autographs for the first 400 fans age 12 and under. The autograph opportunity will take place behind the Kids’ Zone area. All kids who are interested in the opportunity are encouraged to visit the sign-up table with a guardian immediately upon arriving at the practice so that they can receive a wristband. The sign-up table will be located immediately in front of the kids’ autograph area, and all wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Once wristbanded, they can enjoy the rest of practice and are encouraged to return 30 minutes prior to the end of practice to be allowed into the autograph area. Kids must have a wristband to be permitted into the autograph area.

Kids’ Zone: Families will love the Big Blue Kids’ Zone at camp, with games, face painting, and inflatables for kids of all ages. The first 200 kids who visit the Big Blue Kids’ Zone at every practice will also receive a special gift. Families can visit the Big Blue Kids’ Zone when the gates open through the end of practice.

Rain Policy: In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes in the daily practice schedule.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates


I found this interesting article while surfing for some compelling content to post. It's no wonder health care is so expensive when hospitals, pharmacies and us patients are told that we need to toss out a drug that's past its expiration date. It's been found that many drugs are perfectly fine to use years after the date on the label has come and gone. -MM


Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer.

by Marshall Allen
ProPublica, July 18, 2017

The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless. 
But to Lee Cantrell, who helps run the California Poison Control System, the cache was an opportunity to answer an enduring question about the actual shelf life of drugs: Could these drugs from the bell-bottom era still be potent?

Cantrell called Roy Gerona, a University of California, San Francisco, researcher who specializes in analyzing chemicals. Gerona had grown up in the Philippines and had seen people recover from sickness by taking expired drugs with no apparent ill effects.

“This was very cool,” Gerona says. “Who gets the chance of analyzing drugs that have been in storage for more than 30 years?”

The age of the drugs might have been bizarre, but the question the researchers wanted to answer wasn’t. Pharmacies across the country — in major medical centers and in neighborhood strip malls — routinely toss out tons of scarce and potentially valuable prescription drugs when they hit their expiration dates.

Gerona and Cantrell, a pharmacist and toxicologist, knew that the term “expiration date” was a misnomer. The dates on drug labels are simply the point up to which the Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical companies guarantee their effectiveness, typically at two or three years. But the dates don’t necessarily mean they’re ineffective immediately after they “expire” — just that there’s no incentive for drugmakers to study whether they could still be usable.

ProPublica has been researching why the U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world. One answer, broadly, is waste — some of it buried in practices that the medical establishment and the rest of us take for granted. We’ve documented how hospitals often discard pricey new supplies, how nursing homes trash valuable medications after patients pass away or move out, and how drug companies create expensive combinations of cheap drugs. Experts estimate such squandering eats up about $765 billion a year — as much as a quarter of all the country’s health care spending...

Continue reading


Pallone and Pascrell Introduce Bipartisan Flood Insurance Reform Bill in the House





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2017


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Frank Pallone (NJ-06) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) introduced the bipartisan Sustainable, Affordable, Fair and Efficient National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (SAFE NFIP) of 2017. The bill protects policyholders from skyrocketing premiums and reauthorizes the NFIP for six years, while also reforming current practices. Those reforms include: improved flood mapping, greater affordability, and increased oversight of the program.

Last month Pascrell and Pallone announced their support for the Senate version of the SAFE NFIP Act, which was spearheaded by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), and their intention to work with House colleagues to introduce companion legislation.

The Congressmen have been leaders in demanding transparency and swift action on behalf of those who have suffered from inefficiencies and widespread fraud in the National Flood Insurance Program, and have championed the need for reforms of the program.

The legislation would take concrete steps to improve quality and accountability in the National Flood Insurance Program by implementing the following policies:

- Provide long-term certainty, reauthorizing the NFIP for six years.

- Protect policyholders from excessive rate hikes, capping annual premium increases to 10 percent.

- Reinvest in proactive mitigation efforts that have a 4:1 return on investment, with some projects enjoying a 54:1 return on investment.

- Fund new Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology for more accurate mapping of flood risks across the country.

- Provide FEMA with greater authority to terminate contractors that have a track record of abuse.

“Superstorm Sandy devastated many communities in my district. In the wake of the storm, too many of my constituents found that, after responsibly paying for their flood insurance, their policy failed to provide the coverage they needed and deserved when they needed it the most. Many were prevented from repairing their homes and resuming their lives by a claims review process that moved too slowly and was riddled with fraud. As this was happening and people were suffering, the flood insurance companies made record profits.” said Rep. Pallone. “The SAFE NFIP Act takes concrete steps to make the program more affordable, increase oversight and transparency of the flood insurance companies, invest in mitigation efforts, and reform the claims process using lessons learned from Sandy. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight for this bill and our constituents.”

“Too many New Jerseyans were left holding the bag in the wake of Superstorm Sandy,” said Congressman Pascrell. “In many cases, it took years for them to work through the claims review process to repair the damage done to their homes, businesses, and lives. As my constituents suffered, we learned this slow process was rife with fraud, abuse, and waste. Now, with Congress set to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, New Jerseyans deserve to know their representatives are fighting for their interests in Washington. Unlike thepartisan legislation coming from some corners in the House, the bipartisan SAFE NFIP Act makes needed reforms based on the lessons learned from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. The SAFE NFIP Act creates investments in pre-disaster flood control and mitigation efforts, increases oversight and transparency of the flood insurance companies, and reforms the claims process in order to help protect New Jersey families in the future.”

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey and other states along the Eastern Seaboard, causing tens of billions of dollars in economic losses, and destroying or damaging hundreds of thousands of homes. The recovery of many New Jerseyans has been hindered by FEMA’s handling of the Sandy Claims Review Process. According to the FEMA, 16% of claims in the review process remain open. So far, policyholders have received $217,320,492 in additional payments from FEMA.

Congressmen Pallone and Pascrell will continue to work with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol to make meaningful improvements to the flood insurance program. The House bill is also cosponsored by Reps. Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10).Congress must reauthorize the NFIP, which expires on Sept. 30, 2017.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different ......

Trumpcare's recuperative hospital.


h/t CrooksandLairs

Monty Python Explains The Cruz Amendment In Under 1:00


Want to understand what the Senate has been up to in their efforts to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare? Watch the video and it will all be explained.

h/t CrooksandLiars.com

Monmouth Watchdog: Assemblyman O'Scanlon Adds Insult to Injury To State's Campus Police Officers

Votes against protecting state's campus police officers against political retribution, yet votes to permit them to carry guns while retired

By Monmouth Watchdog

Assembly bill A-2690, which expands the list of law enforcement personnel eligible to carry a handgun in their retirement years—including campus police-- was signed into law on July 13, 2017, by Governor Chris Christie. The Bill, was co-sponsored by Republican Assemblyman, Declan O’Scanlon, (LD-13).

Former Governor and state Senator Richard Codey (D-Essex), who previously voted down the bill in the Senate, was quoted as saying, “When, during the performance of duty, did they have to use a gun? Rarely, if ever…it just expands the number of people who are out there with guns, and that never ends up to anything good.

Declan O'Scanlon
O’Scanlon, currently running for state Senator in LD-13 after Senator Joe Kyrillos announced plans to retire, blasted Codey by saying, “I can’t think of a more ignorant statement…what the hell is there to argue with here? It’s a slap in the face of those well-trained retired officers that he belittles their skill, training and dedication.” O’Scanlon’s sponsorship and subsequent “Yes” vote for the bill, adds insult to injury to New Jersey’s campus police officers throughout the state.

On November 21, 2016, O’Scanlon voted “NO” on Bill A-1411. The bill sponsored by Gordon Johnson, a former Bergen County Sheriff, provides employment protections for campus police officers, protecting them from any removal actions for “political reasons,” or for any other cause other than incapacity, misconduct, or disobedience of rules and regulations. Without this safeguard in place, political leaders, and high ranking campus officials, getting stopped for motor vehicle offenses—or even criminal matters, will demand—and unfortunately receive— preferential treatment not afforded the general public.

Why would Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon want it any other way?

O’Scanlon’s vote would condone (had it passed) political retribution against campus police officers by demoting , re-assigning and possibly removing them from active service. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority members in the Assembly had the integrity and fortitude to pass the Bill by 58-11. This sends a resonating loud and clear signal to their own: Intimidation and/or manipulation of law enforcement actions by New Jersey's campus police will not be tolerated!

The bill is currently in the hands of a Senate Committee awaiting further deliberation, before being forwarded to the full Senate for consideration.

Let’s not forget another slap to the face to another group of law enforcement professionals—our state’s correction officers. The state Assembly on February 13, 2017, -- joining its Senate partner in a similar bill-- overwhelmingly approved bill A-3422 by a vote of 62-4, creating a compensation program for correction officers assaulted by prisoners in their care, custody and control.

LD-13 Assemblyman, Declan O'Scanlon, (R-Monmouth), a staunch Christie ally, and member of Christie’s now defunct and dismantled Presidential Leadership Team, was one of just four (4) Assembly members that incredulously voted against the measure protecting state correction officers from financial ruin, hurt on the job, and reliant on a salary that is a fraction of their normal rate of pay.

Assemblyman O’Scanlon blasting Codey as “ignorant” was certainly uncalled for. Perhaps it was done as political payback for Codey’s plan to draft a bill requiring cell towers be located a safe distance of at least 2500 feet from schools? Codey’s plans are a direct result of the controversy currently taking place in O’Scanlon’s hometown of Little Silver, regarding the erection of a Verizon cell tower.

A grass roots effort is currently underway to remove and re-locate a Verizon cell tower that casts a shadow on a nearby elementary school.

Mr. O’Scanlon is the owner and operator of FSD Enterprises, of Red Bank, a consulting firm which contracts with municipalities and other entities negotiating with cell tower giants—such as Verizon— regarding locations, permits, rental agreements, and other details associated with cell towers. FSD is compensated by municipalities with retainer agreements along with specified percentages up to 35% of the first year’s rental income generated by the tenants placing their equipment on those poles.

In Holmdel--one of several towns in Monmouth County that FSD does business with-- FSD billed the Township for its cut on March 15, 2016, for 35% of $35,004.00 rental income derived from the Verizon Crown Castle site. That amount plus the $3000.00 "one-time payment," resulted in a payout of $13,301.40 for FSD Enterprises.

Holmdel in their January 2017 Re-Organization Minutes named Mr. O'Scanlon as their "cell tower consultant."

Verizon in keeping with their full disclosure policy regarding campaign contributions to candidates and/or their committees, reported giving Assemblyman O'Scanlon over $11,000.00 dollars in campaign contributions since 2008. Running mate Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, was not the recipient of Verizon's campaign generosity.

Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon certainly has a tough task in front of him in his quest to become state Senator. He is running against Democrat Sean Byrnes from LD-13's largest municipality: Middletown. Mr Byrnes is a former Democratic committeeman, a veteran with the United States Coast Guard, and an attorney.

O'Scanlon resides in Little Silver, and before becoming an Assemblyman, he was a long-time council member. His record on public safety issues has certainly been controversial--especially child safety concerns. O'Scanlon has voted for the very unpopular, and much criticized 23-cent a gallon gas tax. Issues which will undoubtedly be brought to the forefront during this most watched and crucial campaign.


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The above article is an opinion of the MonmouthWatchdog.

July 12, 2017 Middletown Planning Board Meeting - Villlage 35

There was a Planning Board meeting Wednesday night and for those following the Village 35 application, the video below contains proceedings from that hearing. If you need the short version of what happened that night Russ Zimmer from the Asbury Park Press reported that "Wegmans survives Middletown planning board meeting", for now.


The Planning Board meeting was exceptionally long and was broken down into two videos. If you'd like to know what his happening at the old Steak & Ale site that has been sitting vacant for 10+ years, that was answered in the second video that can be watched ......  HERE

ICYM: Middletown's Massell named to Monmouth tax board, will step down from township

It was reported this past week that Middletown Township Committeeman, Steve Massell, will need to step down from the committee to take a place on the Monmouth County Tax Board. Massell will be replacing Republican (and fellow Middletown resident) Kathy Cody Bjelka.

For Massell, who's a realtor by trade, stepping down from the Township Committee is no big deal, he had very little to contribute anyway. He never had an original thought to share with public and often just parroted what others on the dais would say while looking awkward doing it.  His role on the committee was basically that of a yes man.  During his 8+ years on the Committee, Massell served as Deputy-Mayor once but was never appointed Mayor by his fellow Committee members.

Why do you think that was?

I found the quote below from the article announcing his appointment to the tax board interesting because it basically states that he did have any accomplishments of his own that he could point to. His leading was mostly from behind.

..."Massell said it was an honor to serve Middletown, the town where he grew up. He said he was proud of the large efforts the board undertook — working to keep property taxes down and leading the community through superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and several blizzards — and also relished the lighter duties, like marching in parades for the township's Little League teams.
"It was very humbling. It was a tough decision to make," he said of leaving the township post. "It was an overall great experience. I loved every minute of it."

Mansell's presence won't be missed on the Township Committee, he was just a bump on the dais anyway. Now however, the speculations can begin on who will be appointed to replace him until next years election. My bet would be someone from the Planning Board. We'll see soon enough.

Friday, July 14, 2017

House Subcommittee Approves Pallone Legislation to Repair School Water Fountains Containing Lead





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2017



Legislation was Successfully Attached to Safe Drinking Water Legislation During an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Markup

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment Subcommittee approved legislation introduced earlier this year by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) to provide grant funding to public schools to replace lead drinking water fountains. The amendment was approved as part of a Subcommittee markup to reauthorize the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, a larger bill to update America’s drinking water infrastructure. Pallone serves as the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Lead in school drinking water is an immediate and serious threat for children in cities across New Jersey and the nation,” said Pallone. “Today we are one step closer to eliminating one of the main sources of lead exposure in schools. My proposal will provide schools with funding to replace lead drinking fountains and continue to monitor lead levels in drinking water for years to come.”

Pallone’s amendment would authorize $5 million for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2021 to help replace older fountains and to supplement the costs of monitoring and reporting lead levels in the drinking water of schools of a local educational agency receiving such funds.

The New Jersey congressman has been a longtime leader in calling for action to improve water infrastructure and to remove lead from our drinking water. Earlier this year, Pallone led House Democrats in introducing legislation to comprehensively update the Safe Drinking Water Act, which has not been updated in more than 20 years.

Pallone’s school drinking water proposal will now advance to the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

Pallone Applauds NOAA’s Acceptance of NJ’s Flounder Recommendations




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2017

Long Branch, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) applauded the decision by U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to affirm the State of New Jersey’s summer flounder regulations. The State argues that this change will better preserve the stock by reducing the discard mortality as well as reach conservation equivalency with federal regulations.

Pallone supported the State’s proposal, which was developed to alleviate the damage of drastic summer flounder quota cuts that were announced by NOAA earlier this year. On June 23, Pallone sent a letter to Secretary Ross supporting the State’s position.

“The Commerce Secretary and NOAA made the right decision by affirming New Jersey’s innovative summer flounder management plan.” said Pallone. “I am pleased the State was able to devise a plan that addresses the economic needs of fishermen and their families, coastal communities, and promote conservation of an important species. Much works still needs to be done to reform how we manage our recreational and commercial fisheries, and I pledge to continue to work to protect and support our coastal communities.”

Congressman Pallone has been a longtime supporter of fisheries and their positive economic impact on coastal communities. Earlier this year, Pallone and a bipartisan group from the New Jersey Congressional delegation sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) vote to approve devastating restrictions on New Jersey’s fishing community. The Congressmen asked Ross to delay any reductions or changes in summer flounder fishing quotas until a new stock assessment can be completed and a new approach can be crafted.

He appeared before the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to reiterate his opposition to NOAA’s quota reductions because of the harm they would cause New Jersey coastal communities. Pallone and Senator Booker sent a letter to NOAA Fisheries about its proposal to reduce the ABC recreational and commercial quotas for summer flounder in 2017 and 2018. The New Jersey lawmakers requested that NOAA Fisheries postpone any decision on reducing summer flounder quotas until it conducts a new benchmark summer flounder assessment.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Letter: What It Will Take "To Get My Vote"

The expressed opinions or views of this letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MiddletownMike blog :


The races for State offices this year are going to be exciting and I can’t wait for the truths, half-truths, or no truths be told. Who knows how one will vote this year. The water is very rough. One side remains angry. The other side who hung too close to Christie’s coat tail is very vulnerable.

To get my vote:

Reform Property Tax: Remove school tax from property tax. Flawed formula to think, as one ages, one’s income will keep pace as property tax increases. Make the tax responsibility shared among all residents, not just the property owner. Base school tax on earned income to increase the pool by adding those that earn income but do not own property. Dedicate a sales tax to catch income that is not documented or reported and only is exposed when goods/services are bought. Then, level the playing field. Eliminate Abbott Districts. Make all Districts compete for funding based on need. Hold Districts accountable for how effectively the funds are used before evaluating the needs for the upcoming year.

Address Illegal immigration: Must establish path to citizenship for those like Carlos Larios. BUT, on the flipside, must change the law where a baby born in the US must have at least one US citizen parent to become an immediate US citizen. With this leverage removed and the line drawn, illegal immigration must be enforced. Sanctuary cities must obey the established law and Businesses that employ illegal immigrants, after the line is drawn, should be heavily fined; perhaps certification not renewed.

Support Monmouth Park Sports Betting: Fools and more fools to think one will travel only to two places that happen to be at the opposite ends of the State to place a bet when one easily crosses to PA and NY race tracks to make a bet. The risk of economic impact, and loss of jobs and tax revenue is too great. Don’t let Monmouth Park be another Ft Monmouth.

Repatriate foreign profit tied to US investment and job creation: American companies have more than a trillion dollars in profits made overseas after foreign taxes have been paid but won’t bring the profit back to the US because the 35% US tax would apply. Why build a facility in the U.S. when it can be built in Ireland at 17% tax rate. We must bring these businesses back to the U.S. and change the tax rate to a flat rate or a sliding scale based on the amount invested and the total number of jobs created. Companies are spending profit but not in the U.S or NJ. Advocate for change and then promote “Why not NJ” to capture the business.

My vote will only be gained by solutions not flowery talk.

Patrick Short
(Former - Middletown Township Committeeman)


Pallone & Sierra Club Celebrate Anniversary of EPA & Vow to Protect It

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2017



New Brunswick, NJ — Today at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund Site in Laurence Harbor, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and the New Jersey Sierra Club commemorated the creation of the EPA on July 9, 1970. The agency was created through bipartisan efforts during the Nixon administration to protect the nation’s air and water quality and prevent various forms of pollution. The EPA has played a leading role in protecting public health and combatting climate change, taking action on chemical safety and working towards a sustainable future. Dave Pringle, NJ Campaign Director of Clean Water Action, Doug O'Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, and local officials were also at the event.

“For decades the EPA enjoyed bipartisan supports for its mission to ensure a safe, healthy and clean planet for our children and grandchildren,” said Pallone. “I have been proud to help strengthen the EPA, strengthen programs for environmental cleanup and support initiatives such as the Clean Power Plan that helps curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Unfortunately, the EPA and all that it stands for is now under attack by the Trump Administration, which values the views of the fossil fuel industry over scientific facts and the well-being of working families. Today we must recommit to the EPA and fight for all that it represents.”

“We are not just here to celebrate EPA’s commitment to the environment, but to defend the EPA from attacks and budget cuts. President Trump has declared war on the environment by trying to cut the budget and muzzle EPA and its scientists. By cutting the budget by 31 percent, Trump wants to get rid of thousands of EPA staff. His cuts will mean that there will not be enough personnel to make sure our water is safe to drink, our land is clean, our air is breathable, and New Jersey’s 118 Superfund Sites are cleaned-up. By cutting the Superfund program by 30 percent, the people living near a toxic site like the Raritan Bay will continue to suffer. It will mean there is no money to test our drinking water and make sure our health isn’t being threatened,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of New Jersey Sierra Club. “We must continue to stand up to the Fossil Fool in the White House and make sure our environment is protected for the next 47 years.”

"EPA's anniversary should be a reminder that President Trump's draconian budget cuts are still hanging over the agency," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. "There's nothing to celebrate about a budget that will take EPA back 47 years and reverse our environmental progress and stop Superfund clean-ups in their tracks. We need leaders like Congressman Pauline to carry this fight forward in Congress and we need all of New Jersey's Congressman to stand up to these budget cuts."

Congressman Pallone and the Sierra Club have been strong supporters of the EPA and initiatives such as its Superfund and Brownfields Programs, which were established to address the country’s most hazardous waste sites and protect public health and the environment. New Jersey has the most Superfund toxic sites in the nation. The Brownfields program was created in 2002 by legislation authored in the House by Pallone and the late Republican Ohio Rep. Paul Gillmor. Congressman Pallone recently secured reauthorization of the program through the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Sierra Club and Pallone have also spoken out against President Trump’s budget, which would cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent, including significant reductions to research programs and enforcement of clean air and clean water programs. The President’s budget request would eliminate 3,800 EPA employees, which comprise 20% of the agency’s workforce. There are 46 EPA programs that would be completely eliminated.

On May 7, it was reported that the EPA had dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board; the dismissed members were academic scientists. A spokesman for Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate.

President Trump has also withdrawn the United States from the historic Paris Climate agreement, an accord among nearly 200 nations to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. The administration’s proposal to drill in the Atlantic Ocean has also drawn enormous criticism from Pauline and the environmental community.