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Pallone Calls on Army Corps to Remove All Groundwater and Surface Water Contamination at Former Raritan Arsenal

March 4, 2004
Press Release

"I'm concerned about several aspects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleanup of the former Raritan Arsenal.  With ongoing public concern regarding unknown health impacts of volatile organic compounds identified in groundwater, I support efforts that would fully remove the groundwater and surface water contamination at this site.  I believe it's in the public's best interest to find a solution to this problem now, so that this issue and the public health concerns do not perpetuate indefinitely.


            "While I appreciate the Corps responding to the air quality concerns raised last year by installing a ventilation system and monitoring certain air and groundwater locations, I am concerned that monitoring alone will not solve the problem.  I believe all source material at this site must be removed.  I am aware that heightened concerns are raised by the presence of volatile organic compounds found in the groundwater, and I know that it is nearly impossible to stabilize these compounds. The only means for fully addressing the problems is through pumping and treating the contaminated water.  I request that the Army Corps review the feasibility of this solution not only for the long-term protection of human health but also for the protection of ecological health.


            "In this regard, I am concerned about the impact that contaminated water may have on the Raritan River.  I would like the Corps to complete a surface water sampling analysis to determine whether, and at what level, contaminated waters are entering the Raritan River.  In coordination with this effort, I think it is necessary for the Corps to complete an ecological risk assessment in order to determine if, and at what level, wildlife is exposed to the contamination.


            "I do not support partial remediation of contaminated sites because of its inability to remove the potential for long-term human health risks.  Furthermore, I do not support any actions that could contribute additional pollution to the already threatened Raritan River.


            "I am hopeful that the Army Corps will develop a long-term solution to this problem and I am willing to assist in whatever way I can to promote the implementation of a solution that addresses these concerns."