Petition Closed
Petitioning Assistant Administrator, Office of International and Tribal Affairs, USEPA Michelle J. DePass and 4 others

USEPA: Get the lead out of Ringwood and restore the tribal lands!


The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a horrible plan that leaves tens of thousands of tons of paint sludge that Ford Motor Company dumped five decades ago on Ramapough Lenape Nation Tribal grounds and Ringwood State Park.  The 500-acre Ringwood Mines/Landfill Superfund Site is composed of old abandoned mine shafts and leaching landfills.

With enough community and technical support, we can reverse USEPA's proposed cleanup plan to chose an alternative that would completely remove all of the toxic waste and restore the tribal land.  The people in Upper Ringwood are still suffering from devastating health impacts, staggering rates of premature deaths, rare cancers, and autoimmune diseases believed to be linked to the witches’ brew of toxins left in their homes, yards and community. 

Astronomically high levels of lead and dioxin have been found in attics and yards, while the neighboring mines – including those in Ringwood State Park – sit just upstream from the drinking water source for one to two million people.

Please tell USEPA that this community should no longer suffer from the toxic legacy Ford Motors dumped in their backyards.  Don’t let Ford Motor Company get away with capping the site and leaving tens of thousands of tons of paint sludge behind!  Tell USEPA that they must require Ford to dig up everything they dumped!  

Take action now – the families of Ringwood, and anyone who believes a State Park should be safe to enjoy, are counting on you!

For more information, visit RingwoodSuperfund.org

Letter to
Assistant Administrator, Office of International and Tribal Affairs, USEPA Michelle J. DePass
Assistant Administrator, USEPA Mathy Stanislaus
Superfund Director, Region 2, USEPA Walter Mugdan
and 2 others
USEPA Region 2 Administrator Ms. Judith Enck
USEPA Ringwood Remedial Project Manager Joe Gowers
RE: Ringwood Superfund Site Proposed Plan

On behalf of the residents of Ringwood, New Jersey, I am respectfully requesting that USEPA require Ford Motor Company to complete a full remediation of the site by removing all of the toxic lead paint sludge, restoring Ringwood State Park as safe public land, and removing the leachate and garbage from the landfill areas. We will not accept any form of capping as a remediation on these scared tribal grounds. All of the sludge and waste must be removed completely followed by a complete restoration of the land.

Due to the complexity of this site, serious exposure of toxic chemicals to the Ramapough Nation Indians from Ford’s sludge dumping, and lack of community involvement, we are requesting that USEPA’s Office of Environmental Justice formally conduct a real, updated assessment of the environmental justice impacts in Ringwood. USEPA’s Environmental Justice Assessment team must include the loss of the cultural and religious hunting grounds, which are now slated to be permanently lost if USEPA’s Proposed Plan suggested alternative is selected. Additionally, Ramapough Lenape Native American Tribe has areas where members of their tribe reside, such as Stag Hill that could have been used to determine one of the data comparisons that the Environmental Justice Assessment team needed.

This Ramapough Lenape community is still being unfairly targeted and treated by the outside community as evidenced by the release of the new movie, “Out of the Furnace,” which portrays the Ramapough Lenape in a negative stereotype. This is proof the USEPA Environmental Assessment Team failed to quantify the depth of negative impacts in this community.

This tragic saga was investigated in HBO’s new documentary, “Mann v. Ford,” which revealed that the community’s devastating health impacts continue, with the cancer-causing dioxin at high levels in residents’ attics and neighboring mines filled with huge quantities of toxic waste, just upstream from the drinking water source for one to two million people.

These hard-working families suffered in agony for decades, and USEPA finally has the chance to finally make things right. Please protect the human health and environment for the Upper Ringwood community and the one to two million people that depend on this area for as a drinking water source. Restore this community back to a safe place where parents can raise their children without fear of toxic chemicals impacting their health, and where families can walk trails at a State park without worrying about what toxic contaminants are underfoot or underground.

Thank you in advance for your consideration regarding this urgent human health issue.