Green

EPA Passaic River Clean-Up Proposal Largest In History

957aca525d2600a171e3_EPA.jpg
EPA Proposed Passaic River remediation plans. Credits: EPA
957aca525d2600a171e3_EPA.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed plans to remove 4.3 million cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from the lower eight miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey.  According to the EPA, Passaic river sediment is “severely contaminated with dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants from more than a century of industrial activity”.

The lower eight miles of the Passaic is the most heavily contaminated section of the river, containing  90% of the volume of contaminated sediments. The EPA plans to employ “bank-to-bank dredging” in their largest effort to date under the EPA’s Superfund program, followed by capping of the river bottom. 

After seven years of focused feasibility studies the EPA, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and representatives of the communities along the lower Passaic River, the proposal was developed.  Contamination along the lower eight miles of the Passaic River was examined and options were analyzed to reduce the contaminant risks. The goal addresses the environmental health risks to the communities, wildlife, river, and land.

Sign Up for E-News

“High concentrations of dioxin, PCBs and other contaminants in the lower eight miles of the Passaic River are a serious threat to the people who eat fish and crabs from this river,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “The EPA’s proposed cleanup plan will result in a cleaner river that protects people’s health and increases the productive use of one of New Jersey’s most important natural resources and creates jobs during the cleanup. Doing less is not good enough for this river or the people who live along it".

The EPA release cited the Diamond Alkali facility in Newark as a “major source of dioxin in the river, where the production of Agent Orange and pesticides during the 1960s generated dioxin that contaminated the land and the river.”

The release continues, “Approximately 100 companies are potentially responsible for generating and releasing dioxin, PCBs, heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants into the river. Fish and shellfish in the lower Passaic, its tributaries and Newark Bay are highly contaminated with mercury, PCBs and dioxin. Fisheries along the river have long been closed due to the contamination. Catching crabs is prohibited and there are “Do Not Eat” advisories for all fish. Local plans for riverfront development have also been hindered because of sediment contamination. The site was added to the federal Superfund List in 1984.”

From 1983 through 2001, the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River stretching from Newark Bay to the Dundee Dam were the site of extensive cleanup work on land at the Diamond Alkali facility and around nearby homes and streets.  Today’s proposed plan would address the lower eight miles of the river. 

Once public comments are received and considered, the EPA will finalize a cleanup plan by early 2015.

In 2012, the EPA oversaw dredging operations in the Passaic near the Diamond Alkali facility in Newark. About 40,000 cubic yards of dioxin contaminated sediment were removed, treated and transported to licensed disposal facilities.

 In 2013 approximately 16,000 cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from a half-mile stretch of the Passaic running by Riverside County Park North in Lyndhurst, New Jersey was dredged.

The EPA searches out responsible parties and sources of contamination and charges them with the costs for remediation via the Superfund program.

The plan for the lower eight miles of the Passaic River is available at http://www.epa.gov/region02/passaicriver or http://www.ourpassaic.org

Public comments will be accepted by the EPA on their proposed plan from April 21 to June 20, and several public meetings describing the proposal will be held at the following locations: 

 May 7, 2014 at 7 p.m., Portuguese Sports Club, 55 Prospect Street,, Newark, New Jersey, 07105

 May 2014 in Kearny, New Jersey, Specific date and location To Be Determined

 June 2014 in Belleville, New Jersey, Specific date and location To Be Determined

Written comments via mail or email may be submitted to:

Alice Yeh, Remedial Project Manager 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866
(212) 637-4427, PassaicLower8MileComments.Region2@epa.gov.


 


 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

May 23, 2018

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice

*Gelato 

*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ca99dbbe4665a685b474_screen_shot_2018-05-22_at_9.15.03_pm

Mon, May 28, 10:00 AM

Township Hall, West Orange

2018 Memorial Day Observance

Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3dd755d9dc476b5f4dc3_unnamed__4_

Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_28c899d8572458eda4f7_mini_magick20180422-110109-8dtxfl

Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...