Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quanta Superfund cleanup in NJ faces yet another delay

Long-sought Edgewater cleanup faces another delay

Scott Fallon reports for The Record

Twice a day for decades, the tide from the Hudson River has pounded the deteriorated bulkhead at the Quanta Superfund site in Edgewater, pulling coal tar, arsenic and other pollution into the waterway.

It has created an underwater toxic plume 30 feet deep near the shoreline and stretching as far as 800 feet into the river. When the plume is exposed at low tide, the area surrounded by high-end condos, restaurants and stores often smells like an oil refinery.

Work that began this fall on the site promises to halt more toxic material from leaching into the river. But plans to clean up the pollution already in the Hudson have hit yet another delay.

Environmental Protection Agency officials have said they need to take more sediment samples from the river to get a better estimation of how big and toxic the plume is.

The move has puzzled some residents and environmental advocates, considering that EPA officials said in 2011 that they were going to have a cleanup plan for the Hudson ready by the next year. 

Some fear the EPA will not require a comprehensive enough cleanup of the river after it approved a plan five years ago that entombs pollution in the ground at Quanta instead of removing it.

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