|Soil would be excavated from this site in Ramapo, N.Y. (Record photo)|
New York State has ordered Ford Motor Co. to remove almost all the toxic paint sludge that was trucked from its former Mahwah plant and dumped at a site in Rockland County, a stark contrast to a proposal by federal officials that would leave much of the automaker’s waste next to an Upper Ringwood neighborhood, Scott Fallon reports in The Record.
"The $7.5 million plan would be the second major cleanup of Ford’s pollution in Ramapo, N.Y., which calls for the majority of the paint sludge to be dug up and hauled away. The move has upset some in Upper Ringwood who want to see the Environmental Protection Agency take a similar approach at the borough’s 500-acre Superfund site instead of considering a plan that would remove far less contaminated soil than originally planned."
“Even though I understand the importance of cleaning the paint sludge out of that area, I think it’s important to clean it out of all areas,” said Vincent Mann, a chief of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, whose members have lived in the mountains of Ringwood for centuries.
The story explains that the two communities, just a few miles apart, “share a common history as a dumping ground from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s for tons of paint sludge that Ford generated at its former Mahwah plant. But in recent years, the EPA and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation have taken vastly different approaches to the problem: Ringwood could have waste entombed there in perpetuity, while in Ramapo, sludge could be nearly completely removed.”
Fallon notes that the two sites are different. "The amount of pollution in Ramapo is much smaller than what was dumped in Ringwood. The paint sludge is also dumped in more shallow pits in Ramapo, making it less costly and complicated to excavate. "
Read the entire story here
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