NJ: EPA Fears Toxic Spread From Tainted Pool Under Garfield Plant

"Federal officials believe they have identified a highly concentrated pocket of cancer-causing chromium underneath an abandoned factory in Garfield [NJ] that may be the root cause of the large-scale contamination potentially threatening the health of thousands of residents."

"Tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offer strong evidence that contamination from the E.C. Electroplating plant on Clark Street is still flowing into the groundwater — and that pollution is spreading well beyond the boundaries of a Superfund site that already encompasses 600 homes and businesses. The EPA is drilling nine new test wells outside the neighborhood, even one across the Passaic River in the city of Passaic to find out if the contamination seeped through the bedrock under the waterway. EPA testing has found chromium contamination in 13 basements. An additional home tested positive, but EPA scientists have to take more samples from that basement because of inconsistencies.

Federal officials say there is reason for concern — in fact they have deemed the contamination a “serious threat to human health.” They say residents are in danger any time they go into their basements, which can become contaminated with chromium during floods. However, residents have not been told they need to leave their homes and the state Department of Health and Senior Services analyzed its cancer registry and did not find elevated rates of disease in the area."

Scott Fallon reports for the Bergen Record June 10, 2012.

Source: Bergen Record, 06/11/2012