The budget battle rages on in Washington, D.C. today as worries about a federal government shutdown intensify. One of New Jersey’s top environmentalists warns that a shutdown could affect effect programs to help the Garden State recover and rebuild from Superstorm Sandy and put our environment and health at risk.

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“Government shutdowns have consequences which will have direct and dramatic impacts to New Jersey’s environment,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ Sierra Club. “There are also be impacts that will undermine rebuilding and restoration work from Hurricane Sandy that will directly affect the environment and public safety.”

A federal government shutdown could put beach replenishment work at risk and slow the allocation of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) aid and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants said Tittel. He’s concerned the state won’t receive federal funding money to fix infrastructure damaged by the storm like roads, bridges, and sewage plants.

“What happens in Washington will have a direct impact in New Jersey,” said Tittel. “A government shutdown at this critical time will not only undermine New Jersey’s ability to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy, it will have a direct impact on the environment and our economy. This shutdown will hurt New Jersey’s recovery and end up making us weaker than the storm.”