Jun 18 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement about the murder of Paul Johnson. “Every day it becomes clearer that we are fighting barbarians in the War on Terror. They must be defeated; it is impossible to negotiate our way out of this war.” “To win this war, we must empower the good people of the Middle East who seek a better life, and resist the temptation to act like our enemy.” “One day, the barbarians responsible for this murder and all other terrorists will be brought to justice. Anything short of total victory is unacceptable.” “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Paul Johnson, and all who have suffered so much. I hope God will provide a healing presence in their lives.” ####

Jun 16 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced more than $280,000 in grants to fire departments in Gresham, Moncks Corner, and Walhalla. “Firefighters risk their lives to protect others, and they deserve the best equipment and training available,” said Graham. “Firefighters are some of the heroes in our midst.” The Assistance to Firefighters Grants will help the fire departments improve their training, wellness and fitness programs; purchase new firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment; and, make modifications to fire stations and facilities. Gresham Britton’s Neck/Gresham Volunteer Fire Department will receive $93,240. Moncks Corner Whitesville Rural Volunteer Fire Department will receive $36,999. Walhalla Walhalla Fire Department will receive $150,413. The Assistance to Firefighters grant program awards one-year grants directly to local fire departments, enhancing their ability to respond to fire and fire-related hazards in the community. The program supports departments by providing them the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel. Grantees share in the cost of the funded project at a percentage based on the population of their respective jurisdiction. Grantees that serve jurisdictions of 50,000 or fewer residents are required to provide a non-Federal cost-share of 10 percent while grantees that serve jurisdictions of over 50,000 provide a 30 percent cost-share. The match must be in cash without the use of in-kind contributions. In addition, the maximum amount of federal funds that an applicant can be awarded is $750,000 during any fiscal year. The grants are made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ####

Jun 16 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Seiler International Corporation (SEICOR) of Charleston has been awarded a $1,991,000 research and development contract for its shipboard automated container and cargo transfer system (AutoLog). Graham secured funding for the project in the Fiscal Year 2004 Defense Appropriations Act. The SEICOR team will design and build a one-quarter scale version of the robotic Autolog system in this phase for installation and testing aboard the Navy's research vessel MV Independence. AutoLog has been developed to meet the Navy's need for a shipboard crane system capable of rapidly transferring containers in high sea states in support of vital sea basing operations. “South Carolina companies supply the men and women of our armed forces with cutting edge technology,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Projects such as this are a boon to our state’s economy, and demonstrate the skill and dedication of South Carolina’s workforce.” The contract was awarded by the U.S. Navy. Graham originally announced the project after Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2004 Defense Appropriations Act. ####

Jun 15 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced $625,000 in federal grants have been awarded to aid revitalization efforts at brownfield sites in Aiken, Charleston, Spartanburg, and Jackson. The Brownfields Grants help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. The funds are used to help communities evaluate the environmental contamination of brownfield sites. Brownfields are sites where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Grants announced today include: Aiken County Aiken County will receive $200,000 to conduct community outreach, perform site assessments, conduct health monitoring activities for surrounding communities, and develop cleanup and reuse plans at a 22-acre abandoned, burned textile mill property. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will receive $25,000 assess a former service station site and conduct community outreach in the Town of Jackson. The site has five old underground storage tanks that do not meet regulatory standards. Charleston The City of Charleston will receive $200,000 to inventory sites with potential petroleum contamination in the city’s Renewal Community, conduct community outreach activities, conduct assessments, perform health monitoring in surrounding communities, and plan cleanup and remediation at two sites. Spartanburg Regenesis, Inc. will receive $100,000 to clean up the 30-acre North Street Dump Site at 971 S. Liberty Street. This largely vacant site with elevated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon contamination has been used for mill storage and casual dumping. In addition, Regenesis will receive $100,000 to clean up leaks from inactive underground storage tanks at the 3-acre Arkwright Mills Site, which was an operating textile mill until 1979. “Revitalizing these sites and converting them to commercially viable properties is a great investment in future economic development,” said Graham. “In addition, it provides for a cleaner environment and eliminates public health risks.” The grants were awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ####

Jun 15 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive $432,428 in federal funding to help cover the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens. The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) funds will be made available to the State and several counties: State of South Carolina $323,486 Aiken County $1,969 Berkeley County $4,263 Charleston County $29,919 Cherokee County $1,186 Colleton County $3,208 Dorchester County $14,539 Florence County $6,490 Georgetown County $1,675 Horry County $29,503 York County $16,190 TOTAL $432,428 “Illegal aliens are a drain on the resources of South Carolina,” said Graham. “This program helps alleviate the financial burden of punishing criminals and helps keep South Carolinians safe.” SCAAP provides assistance to states and localities for the cost of incarcerating certain criminal aliens who are being held as a result of state and/or local conviction. The Program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Jun 14 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on a new report by the Congressional Budget Office regarding the future of Social Security. “The new report released by CBO today confirms the findings of the last 17 annual reports of the Social Security Trustees: Social Security as it is currently structured is insolvent and unsustainable. While the differences in the estimates should be fully studied by economists and actuaries, they are not an excuse to delay strengthening Social Security. “Every Social Security expert agrees that future generations will face a severe gap between the benefits Social Security owes, and the payroll taxes coming in to fund them. Even with the more optimistic assumptions used by the CBO, the long term deficits facing Social Security do not go away. “The simple fact remains that the number of workers supporting each retiree has dropped from 15-to-1 in 1950 to 3-to-1 today. Within a generation there will only be two workers supporting each retiree. “The forces that are stopping honest reform from going forward are intellectual dishonesty and lack of political courage. No matter how hard we try to ignore the warnings from a countless number of policy experts we won’t fix the problem until we roll up our sleeves and get to work.” ####

Jun 10 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Department of Public Safety will receive a $618,110 Project Safe Neighborhoods grant. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nation wide program aimed at reducing gun crime. PSN heightens coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement with an emphasis on tactical intelligence gathering and aggressive prosecutions. The offensive is led by the United States Attorney in each of the federal judicial districts. “This program seeks to reduce gun crime by educating the public about gun violence and gun safety, coordinating law enforcement, and punishing violent offenders,” said Graham, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections, and Victims’ Rights. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Jun 05 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the passing of former President Ronald Reagan. He said: "President Reagan had the ability to see the world as it should be and accomplished much to bring that vision about. He was the most gifted spokesman, in my lifetime, in describing what America was meant to be. "The soundbite in history of Ronald Reagan will be his speech in front of the Berlin Wall challenging the Soviet Union's communist regime to tear down the wall so freedom could pass through. "President Reagan's shining city on the Hill speech describing who we are as a nation will be a guide for future generations of political leaders. Those smart enough to follow will be well remembered and appreciated by the American people just like Ronald Reagan. "He achieved great power and unbelievable political success without losing the human decency that we all remember and admire. His was a life well-lived." #####

Jun 04 2004

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced McBee will receive a $519,000 grant and a $172,200 loan for water system improvements. The funds will be used to complete an ongoing improvement project that includes draining and cleaning the town’s water storage tanks, and replacing approximately thirteen miles of water line. The project is designed to reduce asbestos levels in the water system that exceed DHEC limits. In fiscal year 2003, McBee received a $1.45 million loan and a $721,000 grant for this project. The grants and loans were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ####

Jun 03 2004

SRS Cleanup Efforts Move Forward in the Senate

Effort to Remove Graham Provision on Accelerated Cleanup Falls Short

WASHINGTON – Efforts to cleanup the millions of gallons of nuclear waste stored in aging tanks at the Savannah River Site were given a boost today when the U.S. Senate rejected an amendment by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Fritz Hollings (D-SC) to strip the cleanup provision from the defense authorization bill. The vote was 48-48. To pass, the Cantwell-Hollings amendment needed a majority vote. Under the provision, accelerated cleanup efforts to remove the more than 37 million gallons of liquid waste at the Site, which have been on hold for almost a year, would be allowed to again move forward. Ninety-nine percent of the waste would be removed from the tanks and turned into glass logs for eventual shipment to the permanent long-term storage site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Some residual waste, less than two inches deep, will remain in the tank and be mixed with concrete and grout. Removal of this material is impractical and poses dangers to worker safety. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) would be given “veto” power over residual waste left in the tank and would determine when the tank is clean enough to be closed. “This is a big day for environmental cleanup in South Carolina,” said Graham. “The agreement between the state and the Department of Energy, now approved by the U.S. Senate, ensures the tanks will be cleaned up in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner.” “Because of this agreement, we’re looking to do it 23 years ahead of schedule and at a cost savings to the taxpayer of almost $16 billion,” said Graham. “It is a good plan for the Site, state, and the nation.” Graham noted the cleanup provision was supported by Governor Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Attorney General Henry McMaster, Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives David Wilkins, Democrats and Republicans in the Aiken County legislative delegation, the mayor of Aiken, the chairman of the Aiken County Council, the mayor of Jackson, the SRS Retiree Association, and local Chambers of Commerce. “The cleanup efforts at the Site have been at a virtual standstill,” said Graham. “It’s long past time we get the cleanup efforts moving forward again to protect our environment. Every day we delay just increases the risk to the local community and the Savannah River that these tanks, some of them fifty years old, will leak and create even greater problems down the road.” “I’m very pleased the Governor and state officials came together to allow the site to be cleaned up decades earlier than expected,” said Graham. “Governor Sanford deserves much credit for allowing new ideas that make environmental and economic sense to become reality in spite of special interest demagoguery. He is a thoughtful and courageous political leader.” After the Senate gives final approval to the defense authorization bill it will go to conference with the House of Representatives. “I will continue to fight in the House-Senate conference to ensure this provision becomes law,” said Graham. “We’ve come too far in our efforts to clean up the Site, using good science and sound economics, to be deterred by special interest politics.” #####