Lautenberg, Menendez, Pascrell Urge EPA Administrator To Take Action Toward Pompton Lakes
Today, Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-8) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck calling on the EPA to ramp up its efforts to protect the residents of Pompton Lakes. This New Jersey community has endured harmful contaminants emanating from the E. I Dupont Pompton Lakes Works Plant site and continues to demand action that will determine the extent of the threat and remediate the pollution in the area. The New Jersey Members of Congress are urging continued support and monitoring for the community's residents.
Here is the text of the letter:
January 28, 2010
Judith A. Enck
United States Environmental Protection Agency
New York, New York 10007-1866
Dear Regional Administer Enck:
We are writing this letter to continue the dialogue between our offices and EPA Region 2 about the contamination and cleanup at the E. I. Dupont Pompton Lakes Works Plant. We want to thank you for your December 31, 2009 letter in response to our concerns expressed to Administrator Lisa Jackson in our letter of December 11th. We appreciate the steps you have taken so far regarding the issues raised in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) health reports as well as the increased level of oversight and resources the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promised to provide the community. Additionally, we are gratified that both the NJDEP and the EPA have come to an agreement with DuPont to allow residents to choose their own contractors from a NJDEP approved list to design and install vapor mitigation systems.
At the January 25th public meeting in Pompton Lakes, at which the NJDEP, EPA, NJDHSS, and ATSDR participated, it came to our attention that there are several additional ways EPA could enhance its involvement with the Pompton Lakes community. These efforts would both help accelerate the process by which exposures to toxins are identified as well as increase communication and trust. In this regard, we believe that the following would be useful based on what was expressed at that meeting:
1) Provide EPA resources to the site which would include:
* an EPA Trailer in Pompton Lakes that would be staffed by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) team five days a week and that would have affixed to it a twenty-four hour hotline telephone number;
* mobile labs that could immediately assess concentration of chemicals.
* a Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer ( T.A.G.A.) mobile laboratory to monitor air quality, both indoor and outdoor, particularly when air inversion episodes are likely and;
2) Dispatch EPA supervisors to oversee the installation of vapor mitigation systems and monitor effectiveness and safety factors.
3) Expand the number of homes that are being offered vapor intrusion units beyond the plume as a buffer zone to calm fears that residents have of a shifting plume.
4) Institute the Community Advisory Group (CAG) as soon as possible, membership to include those who represent residents living over the plume as well as members from the community-at-large; a consideration might be given to placing a licensed real estate appraiser on the CAG who could provide expertise on home valuation, an issue raised by the community.
Our offices remain committed to the people of Pompton Lakes. We believe that the residents deserve the focus of our collective efforts on the contamination and cleanup of this very toxic site. We appreciate your concern for these issues as well and look forward to your reply. If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
United States Senator
United States Senator
BILL PASCRELL JR.
Member of Congress