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Pallone Says EPA Must Remove Contaminated Groundwater from Sayreville Superfund Sites

July 8, 2004
Press Release

"I would like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for scheduling this meeting tonight to seek community input on its proposals to address the contamination at both the Horseshoe Road and the adjoining Atlantic Resources Superfund sites. While I am pleased that this public meeting is taking place and that the EPA has chosen a preferred alternative to cleaning up the sites, I have a couple of concerns that I would like to address tonight."

"I understand that the EPA's preferred cleanup alternative includes the excavation and disposal of approximately 62,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris. While EPA plans to monitor groundwater at the sites, it does not currently plan to remove any contaminated groundwater from either site. EPA must consider stronger measures beyond just monitoring the groundwater. Any contaminated groundwater found at the site should be removed and cleaned, particularly the highly contaminated groundwater referred to as 'hot spots' that have already been discovered at both sites.

"I also have some concerns regarding the security at both sites. It's critical that EPA require the construction of additional fencing and the posting of signs to better alert the public of the dangers there. Given the level of contamination at these sites, I believe it is important to ensure the area be protected so the public does not have access to these harmful contaminants.

"It's estimated that the total cleanup cost for EPA's preferred alternative is approximately $21 million. I'm concerned about how exactly this will be funded. I expect EPA to hold the polluter accountable and make Atlantic Resources Corporation pay for the remediation of its site and any contamination it may be responsible for at the Horseshoe Road site. Since the 'drum dump' area at the Horseshoe Road site was contaminated by Atlantic Resources Corporation, the company should be held responsible for paying for the cleanup.

"I also continue to pressure the Bush 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 Horseshoe Road so the cleanup at this site does not drag on for years to come."