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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, February 13, 2015

EPA considering NJ Hackensack River for cleanup plan


Today, Hackensack Riverkeeper formally petitioned the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study whether the main stem of the Hackensack River should be listed under the federal Superfund law. The drastic action was taken on behalf of the tidal reaches of river that stretch for twenty-two miles from Van Buskirk Island in Oradell, NJ to the river’s terminus at Newark Bay. Bottom sediments throughout that area are contaminated with a long list of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. 

For over two hundred years industrial interests used the Hackensack River as a convenient dumping ground. As a result, there are five current Superfund sites on the river or its tributaries, and literally hundreds of sites within its watershed (drainage basin) that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) lists as “Known Contaminated Sites.” In DEP’s list of state waters unsafe or fishing or swimming, the Hackensack is cited as unacceptably contaminated with toxins including DDT, PCBs, Dioxin, Chromium, Copper, and Mercury among other pollutants.

Today's post is shared from northjersey.com/

In an acknowledgment that the Hackensack River remains seriously polluted with a century of industrial waste, the federal government will consider adding the river to the federal Superfund list, a program reserved for the country’s most contaminated sites.

Nearby Superfund sites
Numerous Superfund sites as well as other contaminated sites — all former industrial facilities — have likely contributed to the contamination in the Hackensack River. The Superfund sites are:
  • The 40-acre Ventron/Velsicol site in Wood-Ridge had an old processing plant where mercury was removed from discarded lab equipment, batteries and other devices. Mercury levels on the site were more than 128 times higher than the state threshold for non-residential cleanups. The cleanup involved carting more than 40,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil to a hazardous waste facility in Canada.
     
  • The 74-acre Universal Oil site in East Rutherford had PCB levels as high as 5,810 parts per million — the state’s soil cleanup standard for PCBs is one part per million. The site cleanup involved removing 950,000 gallons of contaminated water from a lagoon and 6,600 cubic yards of soil. Other soil contaminated with PCBs and lead was capped.
     
  • The 6-acre Scientific Chemical Processing site...
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Read more about NJ Hackensack River pollution:
May 24, 2013
The area around the NJ Turnpike has long been called "Cancer Alley," the the US EPA is now going to investigate past dumping of cancer causing substances in the New Jersey Meadowlands near the Hackensack River.
Nov 08, 2013
The site, which is in the New Jersey Meadowlands and is next to the Hackensack River, is contaminated with a number of hazardous chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin. The study of the nature .
Aug 20, 2013
The site, which is in the New Jersey Meadowlands and is next to the Hackensack River, is contaminated with a number of hazardous chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin. The study of the nature .
Oct 30, 2014
From Raritan Bay to the Maurice River in Cumberland County, New Jersey continues to struggle with meeting federal water standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the 2012 list ... A complete list of New Jersey's impaired waters, including the Hackensack River, the Passaic River, and Lake Hopatcong is available at:http://www.state.nj.us/dep/wms/bwqsa/2012_draft_303d_list.pdf