Posts Tagged ‘passaic river’

Hoffman Grove slowly slips away

I first wrote about Hoffman Grove back in 2006 when I explored the area after one of the homes there was listed in the paper for sale. $200K for a house in Wayne? Yeah, what’s the catch? Oh yeah… constant flooding. Read the original post for the full story, but I found much had changed since I last visited in 2008. here’s some pics. At that time the community was still vibrant and most had refused to be bought out. There was an attitude of “this is what we have to put up with” and the desire to stay was string. After several floods in 2008, the state took action and in 2009, 36 homes were slated to be bought out.. There were several bad floods in early 2011, but Hurricane irene in August of 2011 was the final blow. FEMA stepped in and most of the remaining homes were bought out.

I took a visit to Hoffman grove this morning and what I saw was depressing. There were still many homes left, but most had plywood over the 1st level windows. Some had them over the doors and garage entrances as well. Yet I could clearly see curtains and items inside the 2nd floor windows. And some had cars in front of them. After driving around several times it became clear: cars meant there was a current resident. No cars meant no one was there and never would be again. Many left behind gas grills, toys, lawn furniture and other personal possessions. Saddest of all was the sight of this flag, upside down, the official sign for distress.

here are some pictures I took, the rest are on Flickr

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Passaic river to finally get cleaned up

The Passaic River, one of the most polluted waterways in America, will undergo a limited cleanup under a plan to be announced Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The work, described as the first phase of a wider cleanup, will focus on especially toxic “hotspots” near the former Diamond Shamrock manufacturing plant in Newark. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the plant discharged dioxin, among the deadliest pollutants, directly into the water.

“This is not the total cleanup you want, but it starts the process instead of everyone continuing to fight with lawsuits while this stuff continues to move from the hotspots, down the river and into the bays and oceans,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. “We’ve been waiting 40 years for a shovel to get into the ground on a clean-up.”

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, in a statement, called the plan “great news for the Passaic River and the dozens of communities along its banks.” EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears declined to provide details, saying some aspects of the plan had yet to be worked out. But she said the work to be announced Monday “will be a very significant step toward cleaning up the Passaic.”Tittel, who said he spoke with officials in the EPA and the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the work will not involve traditional dredging, which can stir up contaminated silt. Instead, the EPA plans to use another, cleaner method for removing as much as nine feet of silt from the top layer. The lower Passaic has been a federal Superfund site since the early 1980s.