Chevron – a billion dollar oil and chemical manufacturing company, is the responsible party for contaminating the property that is located in the last remaining natural area in New Jersey’s densely populated Northern Middlesex County region – the 1,250 acre Dismal Swamp Conservation Area.
Chevron recently acquired the adjacent “Abramson” property, which is also contaminated with chemicals that are discharging into the surface water of the streams that discharge onto the property and into the Dismal Swamp. This beautiful wildlife and wetland refuge is abundant with amphibians and reptiles, and therefore must be cleaned up and fully restored immediately. Chevron is looking to undermine this cleanup by fencing in the entire property as their remediation “engineering control,” without conducting a proper cleanup of chemicals in the conservation area. They claim they are using the fence to control illegal dumping and trespassing, but after further research and public records requests we discovered they are only telling half of the story.
Known as the “Everglades of Central Jersey,” the 1,250-acre Dismal Swamp is serves as a natural oasis holding USEPA Federal Priority Wetlands and home to over 175 species of birds, and two dozen species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, as well as a dozen threatened and endangered species, such as the American bittern, bald eagle, and spotted turtle. The “Diz” also provides natural flood control, while its forests produce oxygen, and its wetlands clean and purify water.
Please tell the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Chevron that this is unacceptable! Tell them to stop the discharge and clean up this unique area to protect mammals, insects, amphibians, birds, and reptiles so they are no longer threatened by this toxic waste! Tell them a fence is not a cleanup! Please restore this land so families can recreate on this land once again!
The pesticide 4,4’-DDT was detected in amounts exceeding state standards – both on the Chevron property and draining into the tributaries of the Bound Brook – clearly indicates that human health and environmental exposure is not under control. 4,4’-DDT is an organochlorine pesticide that is known to be persistent and to bioaccumulate, possibly leading to birth and growth defects, cancer, and organ-system toxicity. It is extremely dangerous and was banned in the United States in 1972 because of its impact on human health and the environment.
In addition to the off-site discharge, Chevron has proposed to install a fence around the perimeter of the property to act as an engineering control to the contamination on-site. Contaminants at this site constitute a threat that requires immediate action to eliminate the contaminated soil that is impacting both the surface water and groundwater in South Plainfield and neighboring Edison Township. This is absolutely unacceptable – they must be required to fully remediate the site and restore it back to a fully functioning wetland habitat of the Dismal Swamp Conservation Area.
I respectfully urge the NJDEP to order Chevron to remove the contaminated soil areas and additionally take all necessary measures to contain and treat contaminated groundwater on both the Chevron and Abramson properties to prevent further exposure and protect human health in this densely populated region.
I thank you in advance for your immediate action on this threat to human health and the environment.