Finally Cleaning Up Agent Orange in the Passaic River

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The Diamond Alkali factory in Newark, New Jersey produced the defoliant Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War. Dioxin, a waste byproduct of the manufacturing process, was dumped unfiltered into the Passaic River for decades. After years of studies, court battles and finger pointing, New Jersey authorities are taking their first baby step towards removing the contaminated sludge from the river. On Monday, the EPA held a press conference where law makers, representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and advocacy groups patted each other on the back for all the hard work they are doing.

Standing silently along the sidelines of the press conference was Walter Mugdan, EPA Region 2’s Director of the DEPP. Although he was not invited to speak along with dignitaries, he was kind enough to grant a video interview explaining some of the science behind the cleanup effort and the daunting next phases of the remediation of the lower Passaic River.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Well, thankfully the town has decreed that we bag our leaves rather than the traditional curbside pickup lest they decompose and foul our pristine waterways. Another bullet dodged.

  2. What a project. Who are the people that will actually put on the toxic-protection suits and get in there to dredge?

  3. Deadeye –

    It was a Federal Mandate that forced the States to require municipalities to pass that ordinance.

    @#$% [or leaves] rolls downhill…

  4. Carl, why would the federal mandate force towns like Glen Ridge, Bloomfield and Montclair to bag their leaves but not West Orange?

  5. To get rid of the branches from the storm, I suggest a Barista bonfire in Brookdale Park. Carbon footprint be damned it’s time to get toasted while toasting marshmallows.

  6. Jimmy – I think the rule was either, residents bag the leaves, or town commits to having them cleaned up from the curb within x-number of days (Carl can probably tell me if I’m remembering correctly or not).

    Therefore, W.O. is either is more efficient (or more revenue-wasting, depending on your perspective) than the rest of us.

    ps. where are they gonna bury the barrels of toxic sludge? Yucca Mountain?

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