The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is bowing to pressure from a multi-billion dollar corporate polluter, Pfizer, to allow a toxic high risk flood zone – the American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater, NJ – to be filled in. This plan, if implemented, will take away a 300,000,000 gallon flood storage area in Bridgewater, Manville, and Bound Brook. This plan could cause these high risk flood zones to flood even more while toxic poisons continue to leach into the Raritan River, which provides drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people in the surrounding area. Worst of all is that the USEPA is choosing not to use much better and more cost-effective cleanup options, and instead misrepresenting those options in their proposed plan.
Pfizer, who is responsible for the cleanup of this toxic nightmare, has proposed to bring in several feet of fill, which amounts to thousands of tons of soil, to this high risk flood zone. This trucked in material will displace future floodwaters, causing a likely increase in serious toxic flooding for thousands of neighboring families and may even produce flooding in areas that have not flooded previously. Severe flooding already plagues numerous communities in this area during heavy storms. After Hurricane Irene, this site held and then discharged approximately 300,000,000 gallons of water into the Raritan River. If this site didn’t hold the water before releasing it, the surrounding towns – which were crippled by massive flooding – would have been flooded even more. By properly cleaning this toxic nightmare they can address both problems and improve the quality of life for all the high risk flood zone communities.
A scathing report by the USEPA Attorney General documents that USEPA and NJDEP did not ensure this Superfund site cleanup progressed at a timely pace, along with numerous other failures. The report can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2008/20080602-08-P-0169.pdf.
The Raritan River, which is just beginning its recovery, has bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and osprey soaring in the skies, and a world-class fish population which has helped seals, otters, wading birds, and marine life recover.
Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is spending millions of dollars to work on flood control projects in Raritan River Watershed in order to find a long-term solution to control flooding in the surrounding towns of Manville, Bound Brook, and Bridgewater. If the USEPA and Pfizer were to dig up toxic waste from this site and treat it to make it nonhazardous, they could dispose of it in their nearby facility and turn the entire area into a 435-acre flood control project, thus transforming a toxic, flood-prone nightmare into a net environmental benefit for the region.
Help us fight for a clean Raritan River Watershed! The proposed cleanup will negatively impact the lives of thousands of nearby families and businesses due to its impacts on flooding and long term toxic exposures. All caps and engineering controls fail. The only solution is a real cleanup. This is the USEPA's mandate and anything short of a full permanent cleanup is unacceptable.
Sign our petition and boycott Pfizer products until they agree to conduct a real cleanup. Tell the USEPA to require Pfizer to fully remediate the entire area including all on-site chemical lagoons and contaminated soils that are causing this human health and environmental nightmare. Tell Pfizer, USEPA, and our elected officials to remove these leaking contaminated materials from this high risk flood zone and take immediate action to protect our most precious regional resource, the Raritan River.
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