River contaminated with mercury, arsenic and PCBs added to Superfund National Priorities List

May 22, 2013

NEWARK, N.J. — A 2009 spill of oily material from the industrial park resulted in several chemicals entering the Passaic River.

NEWARK, N.J. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added the Riverside Industrial Park in Newark, N.J. to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites, according to a press release.

After a 2009 spill of oily material from the industrial park into the Passaic River, the EPA discovered that chemicals, including benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic, were improperly stored at the site, noted the release.

The agency took emergency actions to prevent further release of these chemicals into the river. Further investigation showed that soil, groundwater and tanks at the Riverside Industrial Park are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

EPA proposed the site to the Superfund list in September 2012 and encouraged the public to comment during a 60-day public comment period. After considering public comments and receiving the support of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for listing the site, the EPA is putting it on the Superfund list, stated the release.

“The EPA has kept people out of immediate danger from this contaminated industrial park and can now develop long-term plans to protect the community,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA regional administrator. “By adding the site to the Superfund list, the EPA can do the extensive investigation needed to determine the best ways to clean up the contamination and protect public health.”

Read the entire press release here.

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