WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords, I – Vt., today announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to add the Commerce Street Plume in Williston to its National Priority List of Superfund sites. If finalized, the designation would make the site eligible for federal funding for clean-up and make it Vermont's 11th federally recognized Superfund site. The property is located in an industrial park and is contaminated with byproducts from manufacturing and electro-plating operations emitted from 1960 to 1984. Volatile organic compounds have been detected in nearby drinking water wells above health based standards and have migrated to streams and wetlands that are habitat for two state designated threatened species. "I'm glad that the federal government recognizes the importance of cleaning up this site, but unless the Bush Administration changes its policies, there will not be federal funding to begin work on this project for some time. With one in four Americans living within four miles of a toxic waste site, we must give the Superfund program the resources it needs," said Jeffords, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Internal EPA documents released earlier this month reveal a record backlog of clean-up projects estimated at $750 million. Just last week, EPA's Inspector General reported that total spending on Superfund between 1999 and 2002 declined 11 percent when adjusted for inflation, from $1.71 billion to $1.52 billion. More than 1,200 toxic waste sites on the Superfund National Priority List still await clean-up. Jeffords continued, "I will continue to push the Bush Administration to fully fund the Superfund program so that the Commerce Street Plume and other sites across the nation get cleaned up without delay." Superfund trust fund has been running short on funds since 1995, when the Polluter Pays tax on corporations expired. The current Bush Administration, unlike every other administration since President Reagan, has not pushed to have it reinstated. Jeffords is a co-sponsor of legislation, S. 173, to re-instate the Superfund fees on polluters. Attached is a detailed description of the Commerce Street Plume from the EPA.