FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 8, 2010

 

THE CITIZENS FOR A CLEAN POMPTON LAKES RELEASES

“FACT VS. FICTION” ON SUPERFUND ISSUE

DuPont sympathizers disseminating misleading falsehoods in the press and online


Pompton Lakes, NJ, January 8, 2010 –
The Citizens for a Clean Pompton Lakes (CCPL) Board released a “Fact

vs. Fiction” summary setting the record straight on the lies and misinformation recently issued by DuPont

Corporation sympathizers regarding the DuPont Works Site. Unlike the lies perpetrated by DuPont apologists and

sympathizers, the summary below comes directly from the USEPA’s own regulations. Sources are detailed at

http://www.TheCCPL.org.


“We can no longer allow DuPont to self-regulate with no public input into what happens in Pompton Lakes. The

cancer causing poisonous gas coming up through our homes requires that the community and federal government

must take control of this cleanup from DuPont and weak state agencies that lack legislative authority,” said CCPL

Executive Director Regina Sisco. “Despite the misguided statements put out by the opposition, this site must be

added to the National Priority List (NPL) also known as Superfund.”


FICTION
: Listing this site on the NPL would exempt DuPont from paying taxes to Pompton Lakes.

FACT: If the site was listed as Superfund, DuPont – a multi-billion dollar, multinational corporation – would

continue to pay taxes to the Township Borough. Even if DuPont failed to follow USEPA regulation, and USEPA

took over the remediation, DuPont would still remain the property owner, and therefore continue to pay the taxes

owed on the property.


FICTION
: If the Pompton Lakes DuPont site was put on the NPL, the cleanup would grind to a halt and USEPA

would take 18 months to get involved.


FACT
: If the site is proposed to be listed under Superfund, the USEPA would immediately begin a preliminary

assessment and site investigation. Because this site is already listed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery

Act (RCRA), the USEPA and NJDEP would use previously compiled, qualified data to accelerate the investigation

and determine if the current remedy is the most effective in protecting human health and the environment in

Pompton Lakes. Once officially listed, a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study would begin to determine

the nature and extent of the contamination. Because the site contamination and plume are delineated, the USEPA

would use all qualified data and complete any additional investigation needed to fill in data gaps. This

investigation would also confirm the delineated groundwater plume, since many residents have questioned the

extent of the contamination. Listing Pompton Lakes on the NPL would set a strict schedule for the cleanup, forcing

DuPont to perform the remediation in a timely manner, leaving no room for excuses or unreasonable delay.


FICTION
: DuPont is actively cleaning up the site under NJDEP and USEPA oversight, so there is no need for a

Superfund listing.

FACT: The DuPont Works site is listed as a NJDEP “Known Contaminated Site” and also listed as a RCRA site

under USEPA. Unfortunately, DuPont’s remediation strategies in Pompton Lakes, specifically relating to the TCE

groundwater plume that lies under 450 homes, have failed numerous times. Residents have come forward at public

meetings with complaints that their vapor mitigation system that has been installed improperly. This is a great

concern to many residents who have not yet had the systems installed. NJDEP claims they lack the resources or

staff to inspect if all systems are installed correct, and instead signs off on DuPont’s reports, which is completely

unacceptable. In addition the NJDEP has agreed to inspect a “random” ten percent of installed systems. This, too,

is unacceptable. The contaminated groundwater lying under the 450 homes is currently not being cleaned up.

NJDEP regulations require DuPont to make all decisions on cleaning up this toxic site, and there are no provisions

in New Jersey’s site remediation laws that allow public participation and comment on the remediation plans. Under

Superfund, public participation and community involvement are required. All documents submitted by DuPont to

USEPA under Superfund would be required to have a 30 to 60 day public comment period. Every document

related to the site would be available to view free of charge in the public repository located in the town library.

USEPA would be required to host regular public meetings at each step of the process explaining and updating the

families of Pompton Lakes on the remediation.


FICTION
: No cancer connection was demonstrated by the federal ATSDR health consultation.

FACT: The report, released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the New Jersey

Department of Health and Senior Services, found "significantly elevated" rates of kidney cancer in women and non-

Hodgkins lymphoma in men, according to a federal letter mailed to 450 households believed to have been impacted

by the pollution. The report said the cancer is associated with the type of vapor emanating from tainted soil and

groundwater in the target area. The poisoned toxic water was supposed to have been cleaned nearly 20 years ago,

but the study said mitigation was inadequate, allowing vapor to seep into homes.


“In my over 20 years working with communities that have been poisoned by large corporations and marginalized

by uncaring bureaucrats, I have never seen a community hit as hard as the hardworking families of Pompton

Lakes,” said Edison Wetlands Association (EWA) Executive Director Robert Spiegel who has worked for over two

decades on toxic cleanups and Superfund sites across New Jersey. “Senators Lautenberg and Menendez along with

Congressman Pascrell made a promise to families, like the ones in Pompton Lakes, that they would put Superfund

in place to protect the public health and environment. We need to bring every federal resource available to hold

DuPont accountable and put this site on the NPL so we can clean up Pompton Lakes and protect this community

from the poison DuPont has dumped on them.”


“Any person or elected official that would allow DuPont to continue failed remediation must be called into question

as to what their motivations are, especially in light of the link between the poisonous gas plume and cancer related

deaths in the Pompton Lakes community,” said Sisco. “DuPont calls the shots with minimal oversight by the State

of New Jersey. Many residents have expressed great dismay that they have no recourse other than to allow the

polluter and its contractors into their homes. DuPont should give residents the option upfront of choosing a local,

reputable contractor whom they trust along with their assurance that they will cover all costs in full. Why would

anyone want to entrust the polluter with cleaning up its own mess?”


“The poisonous groundwater plume is now only being monitored using the same methods that have failed the town

for decades. The NJDEP would still provide a secondary level of oversight and the USEPA would put DuPont on a

very short leash so that the entire cleanup could be done within 3 to 4 years,” said Spiegel. “Putting Pompton

Lakes on the NPL would streamline the cleanup so that an end point could be reached. Currently, there are only

vague assurances that there will be remediation.”


CCPL is a grassroots organization committed to understanding, addressing, and resolving environmental issues

affecting the Pompton Lakes community. EWA is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting

human health and the environment in New Jersey through conservation and the remediation of toxic waste sites.


Contact:  
Regina Sisco, CCPL, 1-877-817-9098

                    Robert Spiegel, EWA, 732-321-1300