Menendez, Lautenberg, Pallone Call on EPA to Get the Job Done Right

Menendez, Lautenberg, Pallone Call on EPA to Get the Job Done Right

Federal Legislators React to New EPA Inspector General Report on Ringwood Superfund Site

Washington - United States Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg and US Representative Frank Pallone today reacted to the release of an Evaluation Report by the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General (EPA IG) regarding the Ringwood Superfund site. The report, Limited Investigation Led to Missed Contamination at the Ringwood Superfund Site, was published in response to a letter sent by the three federal legislators requesting an examination of the cleanup decisions, oversight, and actions at the Ringwood Mines/landfill Superfund site.

"Time and again throughout this report we read 'the EPA should have done more.' Well that's just not an acceptable response for the residents of Ringwood who have been displaced and whose health is in danger. It is past time that the EPA does more now," said Menendez.

"This report makes clear that EPA let the Ringwood community down," said Sen. Lautenberg. "Long after the site was declared clean, chunks of sludge still appeared because EPA failed to properly identify the contamination from the start and to communicate with Ringwood residents about the problem. If EPA had done its job, this site would've been cleaned up long ago."

"The Inspector General's investigation confirms our suspicions that the EPA did not take the necessary steps to properly clean up the Ringwood site and ensure the protection of residents and the environment," Pallone said. "The glaringly inadequate cleanup of the Ringwood site indicates a clear a case of environmental racism, and every effort must now be made to ensure the remainder of the cleanup process is done properly and in a timely fashion."

The EPA IG report concludes that the 'EPA did not ensure that Ford's initial site investigation was comprehensive.' Ford disposed automobile manufacturing wastes, including car parts and paint sludge in the area from 1967 until 1974. Originally deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL) by the EPA in 1994, Ringwood is the first superfund site in the nation to be relisted on the NPL, indicating a need for further cleanup and remediation. Ford, under EPA orders, is currently conducting an ongoing, comprehensive site investigation.

The original letter from the legislators requesting this review is attached. Full report is available at the EPA IG website: http://www.epa.gov/oig/

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