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EPA grounds helicopter used for pollution checks

Local News | May 02, 2014

EPA grounds helicopter used for pollution checks

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says budget cuts are forcing it to ground a helicopter that for decades had checked for floating pollution along the New Jersey and New York coastline.

The agency says it had to make tough choices to spend its remaining money as wisely as possible.

The low-level flights were a familiar site to generations of beachgoers looking up at the chopper as it looked for floating debris slicks or other pollution.

New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators, as well as shore-area Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. all decried the end of the flights this week, and urged the EPA to reconsider.

Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker say the flights are vital to the environmental and economic health of the Jersey shore.