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Members of California Congressional delegation request funding for DDT research in upcoming budget plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, California's Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Salud Carbajal (CA-24) joined 22 other federal lawmakers representing California in a letter asking for the Office of Management and Budget to include long-term funding to research the impacts of dumping dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and associated chemicals off the coast of California.

Congressional members signing onto the letter also include: Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) and Representatives Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Ken Calvert (R-CA-41), Judy Chu (D-CA-28), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-10), Robert Garcia (D-CA-42), Jared Huffman (D-CA-2), Sara Jacobs (D-CA-51), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA-37), Barbara Lee (D-CA-12), Mike Levin (D-CA-49), Ted Lieu (D-CA-36), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-18), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-31), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19), Scott Peters (D-CA-50), Katie Porter (D-CA-47), Linda Sánchez (D-CA-38), Adam Schiff (D-CA-30), Juan Vargas (D-CA-52), and Maxine Waters (D-CA-43).

The bipartisan and bicameral letter request funding designations from the Office of Management and Budget for DDT surveying and remediation at the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the President's upcoming FY25 Budget Request.

While DDT, originally developed as an insecticide during the Second World War, was banned in 1972 due to notable negative impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human health, millions of gallons of the chemical were dumped from barges directly in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California detail a letter about the request.

In 2011, hundreds of chemical waste barrels, unexploded munitions, and depth charges were discovered by oceanographers surveying the sea floor explain the letter announced Tuesday.

Additionally, Professor Craig Smith of the University of Hawaii, relayed that that polluted region off the coast of Los Angeles was also the site of approximately 60 whale falls, or whale carcasses on the sea floor, which would double the number of all known whale falls globally.

“While DDT was banned more than 50 years ago, we still have only a murky picture of its potential impacts to human health, national security, and ocean ecosystems,” detailed the lawmaker's letter. “We encourage the administration to think about the next 50 years, creating a long-term national plan within EPA and NOAA to address this toxic legacy off the coast of our communities.”

The Environmental Protection Agency documented that 13 other areas off the Southern California coast that were used for the dumping of military explosives, radioactive waste, and various byproducts from petroleum refinement.

Article Topic Follows: California
FY25 Budget Request
Los Angeles
Southern California coast

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