Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) were joined by representatives from several organizations today to highlight how families and communities are being impacted by the shutdown of the federal government. The speakers discussed how critical services, including the cleanup of toxic waste sites, the operation of wildlife refuges, investment in the transportation sector, and the investigation and prevention of chemical explosions and disasters, are being negatively affected by the shutdown.

Senator Boxer said: "The American people deserve the peace of mind to know that the air is clean and the water is safe and the places that our children play will not cause them harm. The longer the shutdown continues, the greater the damage will be. There is a simple solution - we need to end the shutdown and open the government now."

Senator Cardin said: "It is incredible that anyone would stand for the gutting of the agency that ensures that our water is safe for swimming, fishing, and drinking, and that protects us from the hazardous pollutants that cause asthma, and that rids our communities of toxic chemicals. This Tea Party Shutdown is hurting the public health. It is making us unsafe. It is hurting our economy in Maryland and communities across the country. It must end."

Senator Nelson said: "What do you think is happening to all the small businesses around the country that rely on tourism from our national parks and wildlife preserves? All across the economic spectrum the effects of the GOP-orchestrated government shutdown are being felt by average people around the country."