Advocates call for Superfund status for Pompton Lakes site

TRENTON – Environmental advocates held a rally outside the Statehouse Tuesday, demanding Gov. Chris Christie nominate the DuPont Works site

TRENTON – Environmental advocates held a rally outside the Statehouse Tuesday, demanding Gov. Chris Christie nominate the DuPont Works site in Pompton Lakes to be included in a list of Superfund sites.

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Activists said more than 400 households near the lake are at risk, since vapors from contaminated water containing chemicals like mercury could seep into the basements of nearby homes. 

Only the Environmental Protection Agency can make such a declaration. By making that declaration, the pace of the cleanup could significantly speed up, according to the advocates.

To get their point across, they submitted a box reading Save Pompton Lakes that they said contained some 10,800 signatures, requesting that the DuPont site snag a spot on the EPA’s Superfund National Priority List.

“We believe that full federal control of the DuPont Works site will bring true oversight, ensure that a goal will be set for a high standard of residential cleanup, and finally bring our residents a true voice and real community participation,” said Lisa Riggiola, executive director of the Citizens for A Clean Pompton Lakes. 

“We call on Gov. Christie to recommend to U.S. EPA that the DuPont site be listed as a national priority,” said Bill Wolfe, director of the New Jersey Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “This will secure additional federal resources and provide greater community involvement for Pompton Lakes residents.”

Advocates requested a direct meeting with Christie, but were denied. They had to settle for dropping off the petitions to the governor’s Office of Constituent Relations.

The DuPont plant closed down in 1994, but surrounding areas remain contaminated, according to the advocates.

Advocates call for Superfund status for Pompton Lakes site