PATERSON, N.J. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) released the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $165 million agreement with Occidental Chemical for cleanup of the lower eight miles of the Passaic River.
“The agreement between the EPA and Occidental Chemical is a significant and welcome step forward to ensuring corporate polluters shoulder the responsibility for cleaning up the Passaic River, not taxpayers," said Rep. Pascrell.
"I hope this agreement will bring the other parties responsible for polluting our river to the table so we can restore the lower Passaic to its former glory for all to enjoy. While this is important news, there is a long road ahead and we must keep making progress.”
Pascrell, a former member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, is a long time champion of the restoration effort. In 2000 he helped secure $2.9 million in federal funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to study the 17 mile stretch of the river from the Dundee Dam to the Newark Bay known as the Lower Passaic River. Pascrell also helped bring federal and state officials together to announce a cost-sharing deal for the study in 2003. Most recently, in March of this year, Pascrell stood with the EPA to announce the $1.38 billion remedy plan for the river.
Under the legal settlement, Occidental Chemical Corporation will:
• Develop an overall project management plan to get all work needed prior to and during the cleanup done on a prescribed schedule
• Submit to EPA a design plan that includes work plans and technical approaches for implementing all design activities
• Submit field sampling and quality assurance plans for EPA approval, including a plan to collect and analyze sediment samples for the purposes of designing the dredging plan and the engineered cap
• Develop a plan for dredged material disposal
• Submit a site-wide plan to monitor water and air quality throughout the life of the cleanup project
• Identify and select a site or sites for the sediment processing facility, with public input
• Perform studies to evaluate enhanced capping technologies.
To view the settlement, please click on this link: https://semspub.epa.gov/src/collection/02/SC31941 A list of parties that were notified by EPA of their potential liability for costs associated with contamination in the lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River is available at: https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/02/457510
To learn more, please visit the Passaic River web site: http://www.ourpassaic.org