USEPA: Remove all of the leaking, toxic lead slag from Raritan Bay!
  • Petitioned Judith Enck

This petition was delivered to:

USEPA Region 2 Administrator
Judith Enck
USEPA Remedial Project Manager
Tanya Mitchell
USEPA Region 2 Superfund Director
Walter Mugdan
President of the United States
New Jersey
Sen. Cory Booker
New Jersey-12
Rep. Rush Holt
New Jersey
Sen. Robert Menendez
New Jersey-06
Rep. Frank Pallone

USEPA: Remove all of the leaking, toxic lead slag from Raritan Bay!

    1. Petition by

      Edison Wetlands Association

  1.  
  2.   
July 2013

Victory

From Petition Creator: We commend USEPA for standing up for the residents and wildlife that use Raritan Bay and requiring the responsible party to remove all the toxic lead slag and sediment that is currently leeching onto our public beach and into the bayfront. For the last three years, Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) has guided the community with public outreach and technical assistance, advocating for the compelte removal of this highly toxic waste. The community’s hard work, with EWA’s guidance at monthly Community Advisory Group (CAG) meetings, paid off with the signing of the Record of Decision which explicitly calls for the removal of all contaminated slag and sediment from the beaches, jetty and environmentally-sensitive wetlands and to fully restore the beachfront area. EWA engaged the community with a highly successful letter-writing campaign, speaking out at public meetings and an online Change.org petition campaign that gathered almost 4,000 signatures. EWA will continue to work with the residents and USEPA to ensure that the cleanup is as protective and safe, making sure to limit any disruption caused to the families who have long fished, crabbed, and strolled the beautiful beaches here. Thanks to EWA's continuous and vigorous advocacy to fight for total removal, and the dedication of the empowered community residents, this site has become a national model for cleanup of all Superfund Sites. This regional nightmare is coming to an end and the families of the Raritan Bay will one day, soon, be able to wake up and have their beaches back.

Three years ago, community members in Old Bridge, Sayreville, and surrounding New Jersey towns were angry when the United States Environmental Protection Agency told them that their beautiful beaches and recently renovated boardwalks that they use daily to walk, swim, fish, and sunbathe are lined with toxic lead slag and would be closed indefinitely.  They quickly learned that three decades ago the State of New Jersey allowed thousands of tons of leaking toxic lead slag, which was smelted decades ago, to be used for beachfront stabilization and jetties.  When the state finally got around to admitting the scope of the problem and its potential impacts to children's health, 40 years of exposure to cancer-causing lead had passed.  

The toxic slag has already deprived the Raritan Bay communities of their right to access the beaches and waterfront, and even worse, it will continue to contaminate the entire ecosystem and pose a threat to the sportsman and families who recreate along the toxic waterfront until it is removed.

The toxic slag was dumped over 38 years ago and has leached lead, arsenic, antimony and copper onto the beaches and into the bay sediments and wetlands.  Because lead levels on the beach are in the 150,000 – 200,000 ppm range and exceeding safe levels by 500 times the state standard, these levels are a direct threat to anyone who comes into contact with the toxic slag or the contaminated sediments.  

According to state and federal health agencies, there is no safe level of lead!  The more lead is studied, the more health agencies caution about any exposure.  No matter how small the amount of lead found at beaches and near where children play, it is at alarming levels.  Exposure to lead is more dangerous in children because their growing bodies and brains are more sensitive than adults. According to Federal and State Health officials high levels of lead exposure in children lead to the developing of blood anemia, severe stomach aches, muscle weakness, and even brain damage.  Since there is no safe level of lead exposure, even low levels in children can lead to I.Q. deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity and other behavioral problems.  Arsenic is a cancer-causing metal, and copper and antimony are equally hazardous to humans and animals as well.

The toxic slag poses an extremely high health risk not only to the surrounding community but to the wildlife in the area as well.  Biota samples have found elevated levels of metals in the animals tested, affecting the fish, crabs and other biota, and likely moving up the food chain into the larger fish, birds and humans.  The Raritan Bay, where this slag is located, is a regionally important area that is used by thousands of boaters, water-skiers, bird watchers, swimmers and sportsmen who fish and crab recreationally and commercially.

Recognizing this health hazard after careful review of all possible options, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has released their option for a cleanup plan calling for total removal of the toxic materials.  Tthis plan will permanently solve the problem by fully removing the slag and contaminated sediments from the Raritan Bayshore and is the only option that will fix the problem, protect the entire community, restore property values and protect fisheries.  However, USEPA's selected cleanup plan is not final, and can still be swayed by billionaire corporate polluters who do not want to pay for the multi-million dollar cleanup. 

Please sign this petition urging USEPA to keep their selected plan that calls for complete removal of the toxic slag and sediment in order to protect the health and safety of the public who use these beaches daily.  We need every signature we can get to send the polluters and their supporters a message loud and clear. We demand this area be fully cleaned of all the toxic slag and contaminated sediments if we hope to make this plan a reality.  The polluter National Lead and its billionaire owner have publicly stated they will fight any plan and any attempts to hold them accountable for their pollution.  Please sign the petition and stand against the billionaires and corporate polluters who don't care who they hurt in order to make even more profits at the expense of the public good and a clean environment.  

We need to support the USEPA’s plan to clean and restore the Laurence Harbor beach, Sayreville Jetty, and environmentally sensitive Margaret’s Creek wetlands so the public can swim and fish safely once again!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. EPA announces $79 million plan to clean up lead along Raritan Bay

      MyCentralJersey.com News Section

      Federal and local officials gathered on the shores of the Raritan Bay Friday to announce that plans have been finalized for the clean up of lead contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site in Sayreville and Old Bridge. "The release of this plan is very, very important because this is our blueprint to get this site cleaned up," said U.S.

    2. EPA finalizes cleanup plan at Raritan Bay Superfund Site

      MyCentralJersey.com News Section

      Federal and local officials gathered on the shores of the Raritan Bay Friday to announce that plans have been finalized for the clean up of lead contamination at the Raritan Bay Slag Superfund site in Sayreville and Old Bridge. "The release of this plan is very, very important because this is our blueprint to get this site cleaned up," said U.S.

    3. Reached 4,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Aria McKenna JERSEY CITY, NJ
      • about 1 year ago

      Unbelievable what I've been learning about the Raritan River. So much beauty wasted, and so many put at risk..

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lee Evans NEW YORK, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      This is inexcusable!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kim Quinlan YERONGA, AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      Our environment is precious and we need to do everything possible to preserve it!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Victoria Grimes SUMMERVILLE, SC
      • over 1 year ago

      Because the animals and the people don't deserve this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • ZILKA DAMIEN AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE
      • over 1 year ago

      OK !

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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