New Jersey Officials
Call on EPA to Resume Cleanup at Roebling Superfund Site
(03/111) Florence -- Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today joined Senator Jon S. Corzine, Florence Township
Mayor Michael J. Muchowski and NJPIRG Campaign Director
Doug O'Malley at the Roebling Superfund site to call for
resumed federal cleanup funding of the former Burlington
County steel plant where remedial work has stopped.
"Communities like Florence Township have already waited
too long to be rid of the contamination in their midst,"
said Commissioner Campbell. "The shortfall of leadership
in Bush Administration has clearly lead to a shortfall in
funding to cleanup toxic waste sites in our neighborhoods."
Photo caption: DEP Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell, Senator Jon S. Corzine, Assemblyman
Jack Conners ( District 7), Florence Township Mayor
Michael J. Muchowski and Doug O' Malley of New
Jersey Public Interest Research Group visit the
Roebling Superfund site in Florence Township to
discuss Superfund cleanup funding.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Headquarters
denied a funding request to resume work this past March
to cleanup and demolish contaminated buildings at the Roebling
site. Cleanup work that was planned for this year is estimated
to cost $10 million, $1 million of which New Jersey has
committed to pay as the state's 10 percent share of this
phase of the site's overall cleanup.
"This slowdown in cleaning up Superfund sites is unacceptable
and once again demonstrates how important it is to renew
the tax on polluters,'' Senator Corzine declared. "The
Bush administration shows no regard for the health of our
environment, or the health of our economy, by starving us
of the money necessary to clean up toxic waste sites.''
"The Bush Administration and Congress are slowing
down funding to clean up some of New Jersey's most toxic
waste sites," said Doug O'Malley of New Jersey Public
Interest Research Group. "This means that more New
Jersey communities will continue to face the health risks
of toxic waste in their towns, and more New Jersey taxpayers
will be forced to foot the bill for these clean-ups."
"Delaying the Roebling cleanup will stall the township's
efforts to redevelop this site," said Commissioner
Campbell. "We have the responsibility to help the town
of Florence bring this historic and complex back to productive
use, creating needed jobs and new revenue for the region's
The Roebling Steel Company produced steel wire and cable
at this 200-acre site from 1906 until 1981, when much of
the site was closed down, with portions leased to other
businesses. In addition to contamination in 70 buildings
on the site, hazardous waste was found in lagoons, an inactive
landfill, storage tanks and sumps. Since EPA placed the
site on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1983,
emergency cleanup actions have been completed that included
the removal of over 3,000 drums of waste and some contaminated
However, until the work that started in 1999 to decontaminate
and demolish the buildings is complete, the final work to
address remaining contaminated soils and river sediments,
along with site redevelopment, will be delayed.
"We need federal leadership to reinstate the Superfund
tax on oil and chemical companies that supplies the trust
used to finance toxic cleanups like Roebling, otherwise
we will continue to see the dramatic decrease in completed
cleanups that has occurred during the Bush Administration,"
said Commissioner Campbell.
New Jersey has 115 Superfund sites on the
National Priorities List of Superfund sites. Nineteen have
been removed from the list. State funds to provide a required
10 percent share of Superfund cleanups are available through
constitutionally mandated New Jersey Corporate Business
Tax allocations and voter-approved Hazardous Waste bonds.