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Sierra Club Will Miss Frank Lautenberg an Environmental Hero

Date : Mon, 3 Jun 2013 12:29:20 -0400

For Immediate Release

June 3, 2013

Contact: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100

Sierra Club Will Miss Frank Lautenberg an Environmental Hero

The New Jersey Sierra Club is deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Senator Lautenberg. Our prayers and wishes go out to his family during this sad time. The death of Senator Lautenberg is a tremendous loss to the people of New Jersey and the United States. He has been an environmental hero and we will miss him.

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, praised the Senator saying, "Whenever you travel around New Jersey he has not only worked to make our air cleaner and our water safer but when you see a superfund site being cleaned, a clean beach or important open spaces like the Wallkill Wildlife Refuge that is Frank Lautenberg's legacy. For 30 years he has been a fighter for the environment in the US Senate and has accomplished more to protect the environment than any other Senator in that period. He has championed every environmental cause and has left behind a legacy of accomplishments. The Senator has been at the forefront on issues impacting our environment including cleaning up Superfund sites, addressing global warming, preventing offshore drilling on the Atlantic Coast, chemical safety, and protecting the nation's wild places. He created wildlife refuges form Cape May to Walkill. He was integral in designating the Great Falls in Paterson a National Historic Park and the Delaware River Wild and Scenic. Senator Lautenberg has been a critical leader on environmental, transportation, public health and green jobs issues. He was a leader in protecting and securing funding for the Highlands and Sterling Forest, champions protecting our waterways and oceans, cleaning up our toxic sites, and cleaning up our air.

 "Senator Lautenberg left behind a great legacy of protecting our environment. He has been an environmental champion. He is someone who has worked tirelessly to protect the environment here in New Jersey and across the country. We have worked very closely with Senator Lautenberg on everything from preservation of Sterling Forest, protection of our beaches from offshore drilling, cleaning up toxic sites, chemical security and climate change. He has always been in the forefront in protecting our environment and has truly been our environmental Senator*," said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

He was widely considered a champion for reducing greenhouse gases and promoting the clean energy economy. Senator Lautenberg was an advocate for reducing the country's reliance on fossil fuels. The Senator's record supports his words; he has consistently worked against subsidies for clean coal and supported the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory authority over coal plants. He led the fight to stop ocean dumping in the 1980s. Instead he has promoted clean energy solutions and the green jobs they create, such sporing legislation to close big oil tax loopholes and establishing cleaner and greener fleets by increasing the use of alternative fuels like natural gas, utilizing more electric vehicles, and through increased use of efficiency measures.

"In 2001 he received the lifetime achievement award from the New Jersey Sierra Club. He has done more to protect New Jersey's environment than almost any other elected official. He has been a fighter for the environment not just in New Jersey but nationally for over the last 30 years. He has been considered one of the greenest Senators in the history of the US Senate," said Jeff Tittel.

In addition to his work on energy and climate, Senator Lautenberg was a leader in protecting public lands. The Senator has been a leading advocate in the protection of the Highlands region, which provides drinking water to 5.4 million state residents. He was a co-sponsor of the Highlands Conservation Act which sets aside funds for preservation projects in the four state region. He passed legislation to set up the Walkill National Wildlife Refuge. His biggest achievement was saving Sterling Forest, once slated for a city of 35,000 people above New Jersey's drinking supply reservoirs. Because of his efforts it is now a 22,000 acre state park. To show how important his efforts were, the visitor center at Sterling Forrest is named for Lautenberg even though it is in New York.

"I've known Senator Lautenberg for over 40 years since I was 15 years old when he had an office in Hillside. I worked very closely with him on Sterling Forest and other environment issues. Not only did we lose an environmental hero, but I lost a good friend. I've worked with Senator Lautenberg on so many issues, but I think the most important was his work in protecting the Highlands region. We have worked together very closely on preservation of Sterling forest. If it wasn't for his work instead of a state park we would have a city of 35,000 people and 5 million gallons of sewage going into New Jersey's largest reservoir.," Tittel stated.

Senator Lautenberg's environmental and conservation leadership extend well beyond New Jersey. Senator Lautenberg was committed to protecting our shores and coastal areas from the impacts of offshore oil drilling and pollution. Around the country he was known as a champion for protecting the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, the Tongass National Forest, Utah Lands, the Rocky Mountain Ecosystem, for cleaning up Superfund and Toxic sites, stopping air pollution from coal, and protecting our drinking water and waterways. When the Bush Administration tried to eliminate the reporting of Toxic Release Inventory it was Senator Lautenberg that led the fight to get that restored so that the public has a right to know what toxins are being release into their air and water.

"Senator Lautenberg was a true environmental hero and is irreplaceable. There are very few Senators that have been willing to work as hard and push as hard as Senator Lautenberg did to protect the environment. It will be hard to replace him since he has been such an important national leader on the environment. He will be truly missed leaving behind a tremendous and important environmental legacy," said Tittel.

Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
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Received on 2013-06-03 09:29:20

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