Pallone Concerned Contamination at Imperial Oil Superfund Site Continues to Threaten Drinking Water

Apr 20, 2004

Marlboro, NJ --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and author of legislation that would reinstate a Superfund tax that forces polluters to pay for Superfund cleanups rather than taxpayers, issued the following statement today through a spokesman at a public meeting regarding the clean up of the Imperial Oil Superfund Site in Marlboro.

"While I appreciate that this public information session is being held to discuss the start of construction activities at the Imperial Oil Superfund site, I remain concerned that the on-site contamination at Imperial Oil continues to threaten the drinking water supplies of nearby residents and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not responding to the needs of this community by providing the money needed to cleanup the soil and water contamination.

"Although actions have been taken to reduce the risk associated with ground and water contamination, migration of contaminated ground water is not yet under control and the public remains at risk from arsenic contamination in this water supply. The soil is contaminated with PCB, volatile organic compounds, lead and other harmful chemicals that could pose a danger to individuals should they come into direct contact with soil in this area, of perhaps accidentally inhale airborne contaminants. Wetlands and woodland areas also remain impacted by this contamination.

"At the Imperial Oil Company site, it is critical that EPA be prepared to provide the required $17.2 million needed to clean-up and complete the on-site removal of both ground and water contamination. I assure you that I will request EPA make these funds available as soon as DEP completes the design for removing the additional 83,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil in January 2005.

"I am pleased to see the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has awarded $5.8 million to begin remediation construction activities at part of the Imperial Oil Company Superfund Site and adjacent off-site areas. It's good to see some action being taken at the state level to finally get the design phase completed relatively soon.

"I am critical of the Bush administration because I do not believe it takes the threat posed by Superfund sites seriously. I continue to pressure the administration to reinstate a Superfund tax that holds polluters, not the taxpayers, accountable for cleaning up contaminated sites. Reinstating this tax is vital to insuring critical funds are available for cleanup at Imperial Oil and other sites around the nation."