Passaic River Cleanup…an Idea whose time has come?

The use of the Passaic River as an industrial sewer has slowly been changing over the years. Unfortunately, the clean up of that river is a slow process that is going to take more time to complete.

Passaic Water Pollution

The good news is that the USEPA has finally moved to establish a clean up program that is a step in the right direction. The program will expend over $1 billion; to be paid for by the industries that polluted the river in the first place and will result in over 3.5 million cubic yards of dredge material being removed and properly treated or landfilled in hazardous waste landfills.

There are some who think that the program does not go far enough…and in some ways I agree with them. Leaving pollution at the bottom of a river and covering it with a cap is, in my opinion not a logical long term solution. The plan, while based on other cleanups that have used caps in tidal waters that have survived storms, ignores one provision of nature that we cannot avoid.

Static infrastructure cannot survive a dynamic natural system. I can think of no more dynamic system than a tidal river.

However, I cannot say that this is a horrible plan. It is certainly a start and with some luck, the cap will hold.

Read the full article:
Toxic Passaic River to Get $1.38 Billion Cleanup Over 10 Years
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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