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Garrett Calls EPA Environmental Justice Assessment for Ringwood "Good Stepping Stone"

Location: Washington, DC

Garrett Calls EPA Environmental Justice Assessment for Ringwood "Good Stepping Stone"

Congressman Garrett continues to push for a more thorough and complete environmental review after receiving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Justice Assessment for the Ringwood Superfund site, today. The report found the Ringwood site to be an "adversely impacted area," calling for further study, but declined to determine whether an "environmental injustice" had occurred or currently exists pending further study by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJ DHSS) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

"While this report provides a good stepping stone, its findings are—at this point—nothing more than what we already knew," said Garrett. "There is no question that the Ramapough tribe has suffered and continues to suffer as a result of the toxic dump that has been left in their backyard. I am hopeful that the further study already recommended by the NJ DHSS and ATSDR in their health assessment earlier this week will provide the EPA with the information it needs to do a more thorough and complete environmental justice review."

Congressman Garrett's efforts have resulted in the EPA proposing the re-listing of the Ringwood site on the National Priorities List (NPL), or national Superfund list. The site was initially de-listed by the Clinton Administration EPA in 1994, and this is the first time a site has been proposed for re-listing. Monday, the Congressman was briefed by Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director of the ATSDR, and other officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the Ringwood health assessment. The health assessment recommended biological sampling and health history reviews with residents in the Ringwood community to further ascertain the any health anomalies and any relation they may have to the Superfund site.

Congressman Garrett holds a monthly Mobile Constituent Service Hours session in the Ringwood Borough Hall on the first Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. In addition to discussing these issues and others with area residents, Congressman Garrett has invited officials involved with the Ringwood Superfund site to address these meetings. In April, officials from the ATSDR attended to discuss their health assessment. In May, officials from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) attended. The next session will be held on June 5th.

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