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New Jersey Environment Will Feel Sequester

by Kris Venezia
A A
Smokestack pollution

flickr, United Nations Photo

New Jersey Department of Environment Protection Likely to Lose Almost $5 Million.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stands to lose close to $5 million in federal cuts due to the sequester.

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said this means less money for clean water, air quality, and pollution prevention. He also said that state parks will have to close down or cut back their hours.

"[There will be] the limiting of hours in some of the recreational areas," Tittel said. "[Then] in a couple of months, you'll see even more cutbacks and places close. It won't happen overnight, but it will be a couple months to really see the full impact [of the budget cuts]."

According the White House webiste, most of the 398 federal recreational parks will have to reduce their hours under sequestration.

Superstorm Sandy victims could also be negatively impacted by the federal cuts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will lose money if the sequester takes effect, and the White House website reported that this will reduce the amount of disaster relief grants the department can give out. Jeff Tittel said those affected by Sandy will have an even harder time getting back on their feet.

"There's 2 1/2 billion [dollars] coming to New Jersey in Sandy disaster relief that will be killed by the sequester," he said. "That's money to help people rebuild their homes and their lives, deal with trash and debris from Sandy, and fix broken infrastructure."

Congress has until midnight on Friday to reach a deal on the budget, or sequestration will take effect.

To see how the sequester will affect all of New Jersey, visit the Whie House website.

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