U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ), and Congressmen Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Albio Sires (NJ-08) and Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following bipartisan statement on today's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement to clean up the contaminated Passaic River:
"Today marks a milestone in our efforts to clean up the Lower Passaic River and the contamination that was left behind when, for decades, Diamond Alkali and other companies manufactured pesticides and herbicides, including chemicals that made "Agent Orange'. Work towards the cleanup of this Superfund site began in 1984, when the EPA first added the site to the Superfund National Priorities List. It's been a long road, but this community has persevered.
"The EPA's $1.7 billion proposed cleanup of the lower eight-mile stretch of the Passaic represents one of the largest ever in the Superfund program--which is designed to hold polluters, not taxpayers, responsible for the cost--and is nearly twice the size of the ongoing Hudson River cleanup project. In addition, the project is expected to generate hundreds of local jobs.
"This is a great first step to ensuring the Passaic is restored in order to protect neighboring families and children and the river itself. We have no greater responsibility than the health and safety of the community and no greater duty than keeping our air and water safe and clean."