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Region 2

Serving New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Eight Tribal Nations.

Connections Newsletter
Welcome to the fall edition of EPA's Region 2 newsletter. We hope you continue to enjoy our updates on EPA activities in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight tribal nations. Please let us know if you have any information you'd like included in our next issue.

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Upcoming Events

September 25 - Caswell Strauss & Co Removal Site. EPA is hosting a meeting for the community and other interested parties to provide information about the upcoming site cleanup at the Council Chambers in Edison, NJ from 6:00 –8:00 pm

September 27 - Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site. Community Advisory Group Meeting, 1:00 –4:00 pm, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, NY.

September 28 - Solvent Savers construction public meeting in Lincklaen, NY.

October 4 - Fairlawn Wellfield Superfund Site. Informational meeting to discuss next steps of the Remedial Investigation. 7:00 –9:00 pm at the Fair Lawn Community Center in Fairlawn, NJ.

October 10 - Newtown Creek Community Advisory Group Meeting, 6:00 –8:00 pm

October 11 - Lower Passaic River Restoration Project Community Advisory Group Meeting, 7:00 –9:00 pm, Newark, NJ.

Grants & Awards

New Jersey

The GreenChill 2012 Environmental Achievement AwardsNew Jersey Supermarkets Recognized for Environmental Achievement by EPA GreenChill Program
EPA awarded supermarkets in New Jersey and New York GreenChill 2012 Environmental Achievement Awards for reducing their use of harmful chemicals used in refrigeration. ACME, Weis Markets and Whole Foods were all recognized for their efforts to reduce the refrigerants they use, which can contribute to climate change and harm the ozone layer. The EPA's GreenChill partnership works with supermarkets to help them transition to less damaging refrigerants. GreenChill has 54 partners nationwide with almost 8,000 stores, representing over 20 percent of the supermarket industry.

EPA Adds Areas of Orange and West Orange, N.J. to the Superfund List
EPA has added the Orange Valley Regional Ground Water site in Orange and West Orange, New Jersey to its Superfund National Priorities List of the country's most hazardous waste sites. Ground water under the site, which is in heavily populated urban and suburban areas of Orange and West Orange, is contaminated with the chemicals tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene. Exposure to these common industrial solvents can have serious effects on people's health, including liver damage and an increased risk of cancer. The ground water contamination has impacted public wells used to supply drinking water to local residents. Some of the wells have been taken out of service and water from others is treated to remove the contamination and provide the community with water that is safe to drink. EPA proposed to add the site to the Superfund list in March 2012 and a 60-day comment period followed, during which the public was encouraged to submit comments on the proposed listing. The EPA received a letter from the New Jersey government supporting the inclusion of this site to the Superfund list. The site is now final on the Superfund list.

EPA Proposes to Add the Riverside Industrial Park in Newark, NJ to the Superfund List; EPA Encourages the Public to Comment
EPA proposed to add the Riverside Industrial Park on the banks of the Passaic River in Newark, NJ to its Superfund list of the country's most hazardous waste sites. After a 2009 spill of oil from the industrial park into the Passaic, the EPA became aware that chemicals, including benzene, mercury, chromium and arsenic, were improperly stored at the site. The agency took emergency actions to stop these chemicals from getting into the river. Soil, ground water and tanks at the Riverside Industrial Park are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and PCBs.

EPA Proposes to Add the Matlack, Inc. Site in Woolwich Township, NJ to the Superfund List; EPA Encourages the Public to Comment
EPA proposed to add the Matlack, Inc. site in Woolwich Township, NJ to its Superfund list of the country's most hazardous waste sites. The site is a former truck terminal at which operations included truck maintenance and truck, trailer and tanker washing. As a result of past industrial activities, the soil and ground water are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and PCBs. Many volatile organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals and can cause cancer in people. PCBs are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing. Contamination from this site is impacting the Grand Sprute Run stream as well as wetlands that have been identified as one of New Jersey's most significant natural areas and designated a New Jersey Natural Heritage Priority Site.

New York

EPA and General Electric Company Sign Agreement to Protect Drinking Water at Cayuga County, New York Superfund Site
EPA as signed an agreement with the General Electric Company requiring the company to take over the maintenance and replace, if necessary, treatment systems on wells that supply drinking water to four properties within the Cayuga County Groundwater Contamination Superfund site. GE will pay $50,000 of the EPA's past costs associated with the site, as well as the EPA's costs of overseeing the work under the agreement.

Soil Cleanup to Start at Solvent Savers Superfund Site in Lincklaen, NY
A $10 million cleanup of contaminated soil will begin in mid- to late September at the Solvent Savers Superfund site, a chemical waste recovery facility, in Lincklaen in Chenango County, New York. Soil and ground water on the site were contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by past waste disposal activities at the site. These chemicals can cause serious damage to people's health and the environment. In addition to the work announced today, the EPA is also reviewing a work plan to build a system to treat the contamination in the ground water.

Columbia UniversityEPA Awards Columbia University and Cornell University Climate Change Grants
EPA has awarded Columbia University and Cornell University almost $750,000 each to study the relationship between air pollution, weather and climate change. The grants are two of 14 that the EPA awarded to universities across the nation to fund research on technologies that can help the public and government agencies predict and prepare for the effects that extreme weather triggered by climate change can have on the nation's air and water quality.

EPA Provides Syracuse University Funding to Support Environmental Education
EPA has provided more than $130,000 to Syracuse University to fund educational projects in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the eight federally recognized Tribal Nations within New York State. The university will use the funding to award approximately 30 grants of $5,000 or less to schools and community organizations to support projects to reduce the run-off of polluted rain-water and promote municipal waste reduction, recycling and composting. The Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) Center for Sustainable Community Solutions is seeking proposals for projects that promote partnerships between community groups and school districts serving students from kindergarten to grade 12 in urban and rural communities. Information is available here.

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck (second from the left) with the newest graduates of EPA's Superfund Job Training Initiative in Syracuse, NY.Superfund Job Training Program Provides Opportunities for Syracuse Residents at Hazardous Waste Cleanups
On September 12, 2012, EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck recognized the newest graduates of an EPA job training program designed to prepare students to fill jobs related to the cleanup of the Onondaga Lake Superfund site. EPA's Superfund Job Training Initiative provides free job training to people living in communities affected by toxic waste sites. After completing the program, participants earned certifications that prepare them for careers in environmental cleanup work.

 

 

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