More than 65,000 people have joined a campaign calling on United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New Jersey legislators to clean up toxic waste left by Ford Motor Company in a local state park.
The news comes as the decades-long community battle over pollution in Ringwood State Park reaches a climax. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to make a long-awaited decision on the future of the park shortly, including the clean-up of the toxic waste left by Ford Motor Company in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“The Environmental Protection Agency must determine whether helping a corporate polluter avoid cleaning up mines filled with toxic waste is more important than protecting the future health and safety of the already suffering Ringwood residents,” said Edison Wetlands Association Executive Director Robert Spiegel. “It is clear that only a full removal of toxic waste from the neighborhoods, the mines, and Ringwood State Park will protect the families who live and recreate in this region.”
When the environmental nonprofit organization Edison Wetlands Association first began helping the residents seven years ago, massive mountains of toxic paint sludge still sat out in the open, bleeding their chemical poisons into residents’ backyards, drinking water and school bus stops – even though the Environmental Protection Agency had declared the site clean years earlier. Since then more than 47,000 cubic tons of toxic leaching lead sludge have been removed, more than six times the amount removed in the previous 30 years combined.
In the next two months, the Environmental Protection Agency will decide how much toxic sludge Ford will be required to remove from the site. They will consider everything from taking no action to full removal of all toxic waste, including the toxic sludge and other potential contaminants sitting in former iron mines that have the potential to leach into drinking water supplies for over a million residents.
“This campaign has really struck a chord with people,” says Corinne Ball, Director of Organizing at Change.org. “You have a government agency decision looming, a local community riddled with health problems, and a lot of concern over whether or not a major corporation will be held accountable for the pollution in the park. Especially in these hard economic times, this really resonates with folks just trying to get by.”
View live signature totals of the campaign at Change.org:
For more information on the Edison Wetlands Association, please visit: