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Bush Accuses Dukakis of Trying to Pollute Jersey

Times Wire Services

A fiery George Bush stepped up his attack on opponent Michael S. Dukakis’ environmental record today, accusing him of trying to pollute the New Jersey waters where sewage has washed up on the beach this summer.

The Republican presidential nominee spoke on a sunny beach that in the past has been closed because of medical waste and sewage washing ashore.

Bush referred to the 1985 request from Dukakis as governor of Massachusetts to dump his state’s sewage off the New Jersey coast at a site used by New Jersey and New York.

Question for Dukakis

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Bush told a few hundred supporters in beach attire that the next time Dukakis visits the state they should “be sure to ask him, ‘Why did you want to dump Boston sludge off our coast in New Jersey. . . . Why did you pledge a clean ocean to the people of New Jersey when your own state applied to pollute it?’ ”

The dumping plan was abandoned by Dukakis, but Bush wants to make him pay for it now all along the coastline, where sewage washing up on beaches has created a summer of discontent in the election year.

Speaking on Thursday in Norwalk, Conn., of what he called the “natural heritage that we all have to do something about,” Bush called himself a “Teddy Roosevelt Republican” on the environment. Roosevelt was an avid conservationist responsible for setting aside millions of acres of forests and launching irrigation and reclamation projects.

Target of Criticism

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Aware that Republicans and the Reagan Administration in particular are a target of unrelenting criticism by environmental groups, Bush declared nonetheless, “We’re not going to give this constituency away to the Democrats.”

He recalled his acceptance speech at the Republican convention last month when he said he wanted to make the United States “a gentler nation.”

“This is part of what I mean, a nation in which all of us treat the environment with greater reverence and greater respect,” he said.

At Belmar Beach, Bush was greeted by a large contingent of protesters who charged the Republican vice president with hypocrisy on the issue of the environment. They carried signs saying, “Bush out, clean air in” and “Where was George when the Clean Water Act needed him?”

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Waterways Bill Vetoed

President Reagan twice vetoed a bill to clean up the nation’s waterways.

Bush supporters and protesters traded chants as the vice president spoke with protesters shouting, “Seven years too late” and “Talk is cheap”.


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