Target: Judith A. Enck, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 2 Office
Goal: Clean up a potentially toxic pond situated by a known site contaminated with heavy metals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a cleanup for an area contaminated with toxic metals. The contamination, caused by a metal facility, has made its way through the soil and water. The approved cleanup will include the industrious site as well as a nearby river, however, citizens are extremely concerned because the cleanup does not involve a pond in which the river feeds. Action must be taken now to demand the EPA include the pond for remediation.
Shieldalloy produced metals and alloys in the town of Newfield, New Jersey for 51 years. As a result, the area is now polluted with heavy metals such as chromium, mercury, and copper, as well as uranium and thorium. The contaminated area includes the 67 acres of the facility as well an additional 20 acres of land surrounding the Hudson Branch of the Maurice River. Although not at a harmful level to humans, the heavy metals in the area are deadly to wildlife. The Hudson Branch flows into Burnt Mill Pond, which was once a popular recreational area and park until it was drained in 2011 due to a hurricane. Locals worry the pond site is also contaminated because of the adjoining river branch.
The EPA has cleared the pond, stating that it is not a danger. However, the documented samples the EPA used to deduce this decision were based on the water and soil samples before the pond was drained in 2011. A more up-to-date sampling must be taken to truly decide if this pond is safe for wildlife and recreational use. By signing this petition, you are demanding the EPA conduct proper and current soil and water samples of Burnt Mill Pond for consideration for a remediation effort.
Dear Administrator Enck,
The Newfield Superfund site must not neglect any potential contaminated spots in the area. The Hudson Branch of the Maurice River is included in remediation, but not the pond to which it feeds. Burnt Mill Pond was once a popular park in the area, but is now a stigma for metal contamination. The EPA did not include Burnt Mill Pond in the cleanup effort for this area, stating that the pond was not a threat to humans and wildlife. However, the data used to make the decision about Burnt Mill Pond is outdated to a time before the pond was drained nearly three years ago.
Please take action to reconsider Burnt Mill Pond for a remediation effort by instigating up-to-date soil and water samples. The contamination might not be harmful to humans, but if fish and wildlife in the area are at risk then preventable measures must be taken to ensure their safety.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: PapaPiper via Flickr