Serving New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Eight Tribal Nations.
Welcome to the winter 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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December 13 - Raritan Bay Slag Community Advisory Group Meeting in Sayreville, NJ.
December 14 - Garfield Superfund Site Community Meeting in Garfield, NJ.
December 15 - Ringwood Community Advisory Group meeting in Ringwood, NJ.
December 15 - Webinar: K-12 Schools Energy Efficiency/PCBs Training, 10:30 AM - Noon.
January 3 - Crown Cleaners Superfund Site Public Meeting at the Village of Herrings Municipal Office, Herrings, New York at 7 PM. The topic is the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the site.
January 5 - DuPont Pompton Lakes public hearing on lake dredging proposal. Pompton Lakes, NJ.
January 13 - Comment period on permit modification and cleanup for Pompton Lakes closes.
January 19 - Lower Passaic River Restoration Project Community Advisory Group Meeting.
Grants & Awards
- Ninth Annual P3 Awards: A national student design competition for sustainability focusing on people, prosperity and the planet. Closing December 22, 2011.
- Nominations for Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge: The award recognizes innovative technologies that incorporate green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture and use. Nominations are due December 31, 2011.
- Urban Waters Small Grants: EPA solicits proposals for projects across the country that will contribute to improved water quality and community revitalization. Deadline January 23, 2012.
- Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Deadline February 29, 2012.
- Environmental Justice Small Grants: EPA is accepting grant applications to support projects designed to research, educate, empower and enable communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues. Deadline February 29, 2012.
Work Begins on Lower Passaic River Cleanup
Construction recently began to prepare for removal of contaminated sediment removal from the Passaic River. The cleanup of the lower Passaic River has been divided into two phases. The first phase of cleanup now underway is designed to protect the river, workers conducting the cleanup and the communities along the river. In this first phase, about 40,000 cubic yards of the most highly contaminated sediment will be removed and then piped to a processing facility beginning in the spring of 2012.
Cleanup Complete at Sayreville Landfill Superfund Site
EPA has completed the cleanup of the Sayreville Landfill Superfund site in Sayreville, New Jersey and removed it from the Superfund list of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Over 30 drums of hazardous waste were removed from the site, a system to control stormwater and contain methane gas was installed and the site was capped. The work was done with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and overseen by EPA.
EPA Restores Gloucester, New Jersey Ballfield and Puts People to Work
EPA announced the successful cleanup and restoration of the once-contaminated William Flynn Veterans Sports Complex in Gloucester City, New Jersey, which is part of the Welsbach/General Gas Mantle Superfund site in Camden County. The use of radioactive thorium in the manufacture of gas lamps at the former Welsbach Company in Gloucester and the General Gas Mantle facility in Camden caused the contamination of numerous properties in both cities. The $25 million cleanup at the sports complex and the ongoing cleanup of the Superfund site put 330 people to work last year.
Ban on Dumping Sewage from Boats into Lake Ontario Announced
EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced that a 3,675 square mile area of Lake Ontario is now a "no discharge zone," which means that boats are completely banned from discharging sewage into the water. EPA determined that there are adequate facilities in the area for boats to pump out their sewage. Boaters must now dispose of their sewage at one of the lake's 37 specially-designated pump-out stations.
Plan Proposed for Next Phase of Cleanup at Crown Cleaners Superfund Site in Herrings, New York; Public Comment Encouraged
Public comments are encouraged on EPA's new plan to demolish a building, dig up contaminated soil and sediment, and treat the ground water at the Crown Cleaners of Watertown, Inc. Superfund site in Herrings, New York. The soil, sediment and ground water are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polyaromatic hydrocarbons from past operations at the former laundry and dry-cleaning facility.
Three Previously Contaminated Sites in New York Among Those to be Assessed for Renewable Energy Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and EPA are evaluating the feasibility of developing wind or solar power production on three previously contaminated sites in New York State. The assessments are part of the RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative through which EPA will help revitalize abandoned sites, clean up the environment and lay the groundwork for renewable energy and job creation. The EPA and DOE will evaluate sites in 20 states including Lackawanna, South Buffalo and Ulster, New York.
EPA and Ponce School of Medicine Join Up to Promote Environmental Careers
EPA and the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Services signed an agreement to promote environmental and public health protection in Puerto Rico. The agreement, detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding, is aimed at bringing qualified students into the EPA workforce and providing Puerto Rico with a new generation of environmental leaders with medical expertise. In addition, the Ponce School of Medicine has undertaken a study to assess the connections between health concerns and environmental conditions in the community along the Martin Peña Canal.
EPA and Municipality of Guaynabo Removing 1,500 Toxic Drums and Containers from Abandoned Warehouse
Removing a significant threat to public health and safety, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the municipality of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico are proceeding with an emergency cleanup of improperly stored hazardous materials at a storage facility in Barrio Vietnam, Guaynabo. EPA is working closely with Guaynabo fire, police and hazardous materials personnel on the removal of over 1,500 drums and other containers of various chemical compounds to prevent a potential chemical release or explosion. The site is a residential area about seven miles south of San Juan that is not zoned for this type of commercial business.
EPA Action Preserves One Thousand Acres of Wetlands in Loiza, Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rico Land Authority will preserve 1,000 acres of wetlands as part of an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Wetlands help prevent flooding and the pollution of rivers, lakes and streams. The wetlands preserved under the settlement, the majority of which are in Loiza just east of San Juan, will now be protected from future commercial and industrial development. The land will be protected through a conservation easement filed under Puerto Rico law to ensure that it will remain undeveloped forever.