Posts Tagged ‘superfund’

Some interesting stuff in the paper: an irish bar and a bunch of worries about pollution.

This bar in Denville seems pretty cool. It’s only the second thatched roof Irish bar in the United States.

In bridgewater Twp, a superfund site got submerged in over 10 feet of water for a long time. Did those water leech toxins and move them around? Probably.

Shipwrecks off the jersey and Maryland coastline are leaking fuel… and thats never a good thing.

Staying on the issue of pollution the long polluted Quanta site in Edgewater will be capped. 150,000 cubic yards will remain underground. Granted paying 5M to cap it is more economical then paying $300M to clean it up right… but why are we not making the companies pay for it? But the EPA is evil folks, it’s *big government*. That’s why Herman Caine would appoint oil and gas execs to head the EPA if he gets elected…. There isn’t a big enough #facepalm for this kind of thinking.

Ford payouts don’t make up for the damage they inflicted

Anyone who lives in the Bergen County area knows that Ford Motor company screwed the town of Ringwood and the indian tribe that lives there. Over a period of 3 decades they dumped paint and toxic sludge into old mines and sometimes along the sides of the roads in Ringwood. The materials came from a car manufacturing plant that was in Ramsey at the time and has long since closed down. As local residents became sick with all manner of illnesses, eventually Ford admitted what they did and made a token effort at cleaning up what was now designated a Superfund site.

As years progressed and lawsuits were filed, nothing more was done until an award winning series of articles was published by the Bergen Record in 2006. That spurred action by the EPA and promises of arrests and fines by the prosecutors. Fast forward to 2010. There’s still sludge in the mines and it likely will never be properly remediated. Ford settled the lawsuits, but anyone expecting to be fully compensated for the loss of loved ones and the suffering caused by cancer and other illnesses was dissapointed. The settlements ranged between 5K and 35K per person.

Words can’t express how inadequate this is. It’s a testament to how toothless our government can be at times. Ford didn’t just flaunt the law, they ruined hundreds of people’s lives and left an area that is basically unihabitable. They killed numerous people and in the end, heres a few grand, sorry about the cancer, kthxbye? The punishment that Ford received is a joke. The fact that they will be allowed (for a 2nd time) to walk away without fully fixing the situation is criminal.

Maybe they should use the Ford logo as the official state superfund logo.

1500 drums removed from old chemical site in Clifton

This was a few months ago, but it’s a danger that is more likely as the chemical plants grow older and records get lost. NJ has more superfund sites then any other state, but there’s plenty of sites that should be on the list and aren’t because nobody knows the danger

NJ to receive $100m in stimulus money to put towards superfund cleanup


New Jersey is getting more than $100 million in new federal funding for cleanup of Superfund sites. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Wednesday that the money to help remove toxic materials from contaminated industrial sites will come from the Economic Recovery Act signed into law in February by President Barack Obama. Eight New Jersey sites have been designated to receive the money. The former Roebling Steel site in Florence Township, the Welsbach site in Camden and Gloucester City and the Cornell Dubilier Electronics site in South Plainfield will get the most , more than $25 million each.

New funds will also go to Superfund cleanup projects in Vineland, Sayreville, Morganville, Galloway Township and Pleasantville. New Jersey has more Superfund sites than any other state in the country.

towns balking at cost of Superfund cleanup costs

towns feel unfairly burdened by settlement

For decades, starting back in the 1940s, garbage trucks servicing parts of northern New Jersey rumbled into the landfill to dump household trash and industrial waste. The landfill had been a disposal site for many of the area’s corporations and most surrounding towns from the 1940s until 1981, when it was closed and became a federal Superfund site due to soil and groundwater contamination with pollutants such as benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and chlorethane.

A cleanup has been under way for decades, with a total cost estimated at upwards of $100 million. After the landfill was closed, trash trucks were gone, only to be replaced by soil-hauling trucks involved in the extensive environmental remediation. Now, there’s a $100 million lawsuit settlement under way over the cleanup that would require hundreds of users of the dump to share in the costs of the remediation, in order to reimburse the state and federal governments. The settlement is as much about the future as it is about the past. The pact also would raise funds to pay for the cleanup for the next 30 years.

However, Chester and Washington townships, which have borne the brunt of having a landfill/Superfund site, are balking at the pact, because it would require each town to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars as their share of the settlement. Short and Chester Township Mayor Bill Cogger say enough is enough. “We were on the western front (of New Jersey landfills) since the 1940s,” Short said. “We’ve been putting up with this anguish and grief for decades. We’ve paid our dues. It doesn’t seem fair to make us pay.”

But the towns also are balking at the possibility of losing out on future revenue from the landfill, should it ever be sold years from now for some sort of development. There’s a precedent for landfills having new life. After the former Combe Fill North landfill in Mount Olive was cleaned up, it went from pariah to hot real estate. In 2006, Mount Olive had foreclosed on it and sold the landfill site for $10 million to real-estate giant the Rockefeller Group, the same developer of the International Trade Zone center in Mount Olive. Now, with Combe Fill South, the state DEP has put a $2 million Spill Act lien on that landfill, and the federal EPA is expected to place its own Superfund lien on the land, so that if it ever ends up foreclosed or sold, the liens would have to first be paid, said Rick Engel and Mary Ellen Halloran, who are attorneys with the state Attorney General’s Office handling the settlement.

Once the Combe Fill South cleanup is done, Chester and Washington, which have their own liens on the site, could try to foreclose on it and sell it to recoup their own losses, as Mount Olive had done. While the government liens take precedence, the DEP and EPA are trying to work out an agreement with the towns over any possible future proceeds, Halloran said. “The folks in Chester and Washington are eyeing that (potential future) windfall (from a landfill sale), and the EPA and DEP are eyeing that windfall,” Halloran said. Cogger said, “We were told if we didn’t agree to the settlement, they would put a Superfund lien on it (and) unless we agree to give up any tax revenues and proceeds from any sale in the future.”

While future development of the landfill is only a hypothetical possibility at this point, the subject has become a bone of contention in the settlement. U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, sitting in Newark, has issued an order for officials from the two towns and federal officials to appear at a hearing on Jan. 29 to discuss each party’s respective lien rights in connection with any proceeds from future site development. Ultimately, both mayors concede they may have little choice but to go along with the settlement, because to do otherwise could leave the towns left as the only remaining defendants in the lawsuit, and thus entirely liable. “If push comes to shove, I may have to agree to protect the town, but it’s a travesty,” Cogger said.

Chromium cleanup goes slow

the agreement reached will take 5 more years

PPG Industries will remediate soil and other sources of chromium contamination on 16.6 acres on Garfield Avenue — the site of a chromite ore refinement plant from 1924 to 1963 — under a partial Superior Court settlement announced by the state’s attorney general and Department of Environmental Protection. The deal will not be finalized until after a 30-day public comment period.

PPG also agreed to complete remediation operations at 13 other contaminated sites in Jersey City, Weehawken and Bayonne, pay $1 million to Jersey City for a park and pay another $250,000 to oversee the settlement plan.

“We are happy the attorney general has approved this settlement, but this is not done. We need to have a public comment period. We have community groups we have to hear from,” said Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, whose city was a party to the lawsuit.

The public comment process will begin March 16.

The agreement comes just weeks after the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York and the Interfaith Community Organization of Hoboken filed a federal lawsuit claiming the cleanups were taking too long. PPG has accepted responsibility for 61 chromium-contaminated sites, has remediated 47 of them and has promised to resolve the rest under the settlement.

The highly toxic hexavalent chromium was a byproduct of chromite ore refinement conducted by the predecessors of three companies, Honeywell International, PPG Industries Inc. and Tierra Solutions Inc., between 1895 and until the last plant was closed in 1976. Tons of contaminated industrial waste were distributed as fill for construction sites throughout the county and neighboring Essex County, and by the 1980s, the state recognized about 200 contaminated parcels.

All three companies were sued by the DEP in 2005, after cleanups promised in the 1980s and 1990s failed to materialize. The DEP contends the companies have been individually linked to most of the sites, although there are a number of “orphan” sites for which no company has accepted responsibility and that are still the subject of the lawsuit.

“I grew up in Jersey City and know first hand the frustration felt by people who have had to live with chromium contamination,” acting DEP Commissioner Mark Mauriello said in a prepared statement. “It’s been a long time coming, but this settlement will give residents the peace of mind and better quality of life that comes with a clean, healthier neighborhood.”